Most drug trafficking cases are prosecuted as federal crimes, and the penalties for conviction can be severe. If you're facing a drug trafficking charge, it is essential to understand that you have legal rights and you're entitled to a defense. In this blog, we're going to discuss some of the most common legal defenses against drug trafficking charges so that you have a better understanding of your options.
1. Lack of Knowledge or Intent
One of the most common defenses against drug trafficking charges is the lack of knowledge or intent. If you did not know that you were carrying drugs or you did not intend to traffic drugs, you may have a strong defense against the charges.
This defense can be challenging to prove, but it's possible if the facts of your case support it. Your attorney may argue that you were unknowingly carrying drugs or that you had no intention to sell or distribute them.
2. Police Misconduct
Another common defense against drug trafficking charges involves police misconduct. This defense is based on the fact that the police officers who arrested you violated your legal rights during the investigation or arrest process.
Illegal Search and Seizure
A violation of your Fourth Amendment rights through an illegal search and seizure is a common defense in drug trafficking cases. If the police did not have the warrant to search you, or if they exceeded the scope of their search warrant, any evidence they collected may be excluded from trial. Your attorney may argue that the evidence was illegally obtained and that any charges against you should be dismissed.
Entrapment occurs when a law enforcement officer induces an individual to commit a crime that he or she would not have committed without that inducement. If you can prove that you were entrapped into committing the drug trafficking crime, you may have a strong defense against the charges. Your attorney may argue that the police officer's conduct was inappropriate and that you were not predisposed to commit the crime.
Duress is another defense that can be used in a drug trafficking case. Duress occurs when an individual is forced to commit a crime under the threat of imminent harm or injury to themselves or others.
If you can prove that you committed the drug trafficking crime under duress, you may have a strong defense against the charge. Your attorney may argue that you were threatened or coerced into committing the crime or that you were in fear for your safety.
Federal Crime Defense Attorneys Serving St. Louis
Drug trafficking charges can carry severe penalties, including hefty fines and prison time. If you're facing a drug trafficking charge, it's essential to know your legal rights and your available defenses.