Defendants who are facing drug possession charges could receive harsh penalties in North Carolina, including confinement in the state penitentiary and fines. Many people who are facing their first charge will end up pleading guilty and being placed on probation. If there are major problems with the state’s case, it may possible to get it dismissed.
If law enforcement conducted an unlawful search, all seized evidence from the search may be suppressed. Police must obtain a warrant or consent if there is no emergency to justify a search of a home. Suppression of unlawfully seized evidence could result in a dismissal of drug charges if there is no other evidence to support them.
The prosecution must be able to produce the drugs that were seized for a criminal prosecution and prove that the drugs seized were an illegal substance. The suspected drugs are usually sent to the state crime lab for analysis. In some cases, the drugs are lost prior to trial, which can sometimes result in a dismissal of the case.
If the defendant had a prescription for the substance that he or she is charged with, this is usually a good defense. For example, in many states, medical marijuana is now legal. Producing a doctor recommendation or prescription for medical marijuana may be a good defense to a marijuana possession charge.
A defense attorney may help a person who is facing drug charges to prepare an effective defense. An attorney may be able to find something wrong with the state’s case that can lead to dismissal such as an unlawful search or illegal questioning of the defendant.
Even in cases where the evidence is stacked against the defendant and law enforcement conduct was proper, a defense attorney may be able to help a defendant facing a drug crime charge get a lesser sentence such as probation or entry into a drug court diversion program.