Even though Las Vegas is known as “Sin City,” being arrested on drug possession while living in or visiting the city can have life-altering consequences. Not only could you be facing Nevada state penalties, but you could also face federal charges as well. If you have been arrested on drug charges, it is critical that you contact a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer who may use one of these five ways to fight your charges.
If you are found with drugs in your possession that you did not know were there, you may be able to use an unwitting possession defense. This may occur if you are carrying a friend’s backpack and were unaware your friend was carrying illicit drugs. A friend may have drugs in the pocket of the jacket you borrowed or you carried a bag for someone else and were unaware it contained drugs.
Another type of unwitting possession, constructive possession defenses may be used if a criminal law attorney Las Vegas can demonstrate you were sharing a hotel room, apartment or home with someone who had drugs but you were unaware of them.
Lack of Possession
Although this seems like a difficult thing to prove, a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer often uses lack of possession. The prosecution must prove that you had the ability or intent to control the illegal drugs. If you rented a room in your home to someone else who had drugs or you are in a car with several other people, the police may charge everyone involved with drug possession. If you had no way to control illegal drugs at the time of the arrest, your defense may be successful.
Illegal Search and Seizure
In most cases, police must have a reason to search for drugs. If you are pulled over for a broken brake light on your car, the police cannot simply search your car unless they have probable cause. If you appear to be under the influence or the officer can see or smell something in the car that may indicate you are using drugs, they may have probable cause. The same is true of your home or hotel room. Police must have probable cause to conduct any searches and, most of the time, must have a warrant signed by a judge. If there was no probable cause and no search warrant, this defense may be used to gain a not guilty verdict or have the case dismissed.
Although most police officers are honest and ethical, there are members of the force who may abuse their power. Evidence could have been planted or the police may have used illegal surveillance methods to determine you were in possession of drugs. Entrapment is another method used by police that a criminal law attorney Las Vegas may use to defend you against the charges. Entrapment occurs when the police entice you to buy drugs when you would not normally have done so. Police are permitted to lie when trying to determine if you have drugs in your possession and they do not have to identify themselves as police officers even when asked. Therefore, if you purchase drugs from an undercover police officer of your own free will, it is not considered entrapment.
These are just a few of the methods used by a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney to keep you from having a drug charge on your record for the rest of your life. If you have been arrested for drug possession in Nevada, call our office today to arrange for a no-obligation consultation. You can reach us by phone or by filling out the easy form online.