According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), over 8.2 million people were arrested for marijuana crimes between 2001 and 2010. Of those who were arrested, 88 percent were charged with simple possession. While this crime seems relatively minor, it is harshly punished in the state of Illinois. When more than 500 grams of cannabis is discovered, the crime can be charged as a felony. This can lead to thousands of dollars in fines and decades spent in state prison.
While being charged with a drug crime can seem hopeless, there are strategies that can be used for protecting your freedom. Some deal with civil rights, while others are centered around following legal procedures. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, our Chicago marijuana lawyers at O’Meara Law can represent your interests. Attorney Michael O’Meara will work tirelessly to protect your rights from those who wish to put you behind bars.
If you need legal representation, or if you have questions about your case, call 312-909-0706 now.
Illegal Search and Seizure
The United States Constitution outlines several rights and civil liberties that are afforded to all American citizens. The Fourth Amendment, which states that all people should be protected from illegal searches and seizures, is often cited in cases where a person’s privacy has been violated. Imagine, for example, that you are at home, minding your own business. Suddenly, the police break down your door and begin searching for drugs. They find cannabis in your closet and immediately arrest you. If they didn’t have a warrant to search your home and you didn’t consent to the search, your attorney might be able to get any evidence they obtained during the search excluded from trial.
Being Falsely Accused
It might also be the case that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. You may have been visiting a family member when the police burst in, or riding in taxi that was being used to smuggle cannabis. Unfortunately, many people are falsely accused of marijuana possession. With the help of a skilled lawyer, you can prove that the drugs in question did not belong to you. This is often done by pressuring the prosecution to provide evidence that proves your ownership of the drugs.
In other cases, police plant drugs in order to make an arrest. In order to prove this in court, it may be necessary to launch a full-scale, independent investigation. Through police interviews and a thorough inspection of the vehicle or home that was originally searched, it may be possible to prove that you were framed.
Chain of Custody
In a criminal case, chain of custody refers to how evidence is obtained, transferred, analyzed, and processed. In order for evidence to be used in court, it must appropriately handled from when it is collected to when it is presented in court. In many cases, evidence is mishandled, leading to damage or contamination. The results of a urine test that show marijuana in your system, for example, may have been compromised when it was exposed to an unsanitary environment. It might also have been incorrectly collected or collected by someone who was not qualified to obtain a sample. When it is discovered that evidence has been mishandled or tampered with, your lawyer may be able to get it suppressed.
In order to reach a conviction, the prosecution must produce the drugs that they claim you were in possession of. In some cases, the marijuana in question is lost during processing, or disposed of after the arrest has been made. With the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you can demand that the prosecution display the cannabis that you are being accused of possessing. If they are unable to obtain the evidence in a timely manner, it may be possible to get your case dismissed entirely.
Seeking the Help of Attorney Michael O’Meara
When you are fighting for your freedom in court, you need the help of an attorney who can handle the technical aspects of your case. Criminal defense lawyer Michael O’Meara has spent time in his career as both a prosecutor and a defender. With his invaluable experience, he can anticipate the prosecution’s strategy in order to craft a winning defense. He will also listen to your side of the story. Once all of the details have been examined, it will be far easier to present your case in a positive light.
To find out how you can avoid being convicted for marijuana possession, call 312-909-0706 today.