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Defending against drug possession charges

If you are facing drug possession charges in the state of Texas, prosecutors will attempt to convict you by establishing that you knowingly or intentionally possessed a controlled substance. In other words, under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, the prosecutor on your case will need to establish that:

  • You had actual knowledge of your possession of the controlled substance.
  • The controlled substance was in your physical possession and under your control.
  • The substance in your possession was a controlled substance.

If even one of the above elements is not established beyond a reasonable doubt, your charges will be reduced or dropped entirely. However, you and your attorney do not just have to sit idly by while the prosecution builds its case. It is in your best interest that you and your attorney come up with an effective defense strategy to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. Here are two common strategies that are used:

Deny that the drugs were yours

This may seem obvious, but one of the most common defense strategies in possession cases is claiming that the drugs belonged to another person and that they were not yours. If the drugs were not yours, the possession element required to convict you is lacking.

Allege that the police search and seizure waws unlawful

Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, law enforcement officials are not legally allowed to search you or your property for evidence of drug possession unless they have a valid warrant or probable cause to do so. Probable cause only exists if the officer had a reasonable belief, based on actual facts, that a crime was committed, or would be committed in the near future. If a search was conducted illegally, any evidence seized during the search cannot be used against you in court. Your lawyer can file a motion to exclude any evidence found during an unlawful search.

While these defense strategies are common, the specific strategy used to defend you will depend on the facts surrounding your case. A criminal defense attorney can review the details and come up with a plan that will work for your situation.


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