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Defense Strategies to Kansas Drug Possession Charges

Posted on: 08 Oct, 2014

If you are arrested for possession of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, methamphetamine or other controlled substances in Kansas, you can face very serious penalties, including a felony conviction, incarceration in jail or state prison, substantial fines and other consequences. However, an arrest for possession of narcotics is very different than a conviction. There are effective defense strategies that Kansas drug crimes attorney Sarah G. Swain employs to protect her clients from these harsh consequences.

While the specific nature of the facts of your case as well as the conduct of law enforcement officers in conducting the investigation will impact your drug possession case, there is a fundamental distinction that will dramatically affect the potential defenses that may apply. This distinction involves whether the prosecutor’s case is built on actual possession of the illegal drug or merely constructive possession. Actual possession of marijuana or other drugs applies when you are found with the drugs on your actual person, such as when they are in the pocket of your jeans, or you are physically holding the drugs.

Constructive possession refers to situations when you may not have the drugs on your person but you know about the drugs with the ability to exercise control over the illegal narcotics. This may apply when police search the trunk of your vehicle, the desk in your home or other places that drugs may be stored. If the prosecutor can establish that you knew the drugs were there and that you had the ability to exercise control over the drugs, the prosecutor will argue that you had constructive possession of the drugs.

When you are charged with drugs that were not on your person, defenses based on lack of knowledge can be effective. If the drugs are stored in a public place or even in your home, business or vehicle, other people have access to these areas so this can make it difficult for the prosecutor to establish that you knew the drugs were present. While you must know about the drugs with the ability to exercise control over the illegal narcotics, this does not mean that the prosecutor needs to prove that you “own” the drugs. Possession and ownership are not the same concept for the purposes of drug possession charges.

If you are actually in physical possession of the drugs when you are arrested, defenses based on knowledge of the drugs are obviously less persuasive. However, Kansas drug possession defense attorney Sarah Swain frequently uses defenses rooted in violations of her clients’ constitutional rights to challenge the charges in these types of drug possession cases, including challenging the following:

“Reasonable suspicion” for stopping our client’s vehicle or detaining our client on the street
Lawful execution of the search according to the terms of the warrant
Legitimacy of any claimed exception to the warrant requirement
Violations of Miranda and confessions that are not voluntary

While Ms. Swain investigates and analyzes that facts and law when determining the best defense strategy in a Kansas drug possession case, she seeks the best possible outcome for her clients. At our Kansas drug crimes defense law firm, we recognize the harsh consequences of a drug possession conviction and work diligently to protect our clients’ freedom. We invite you to contact our office and discuss your situation with drug crimes attorney Sarah G. Swain without fear of being judged. The initial consultation is free and confidential. Call us today at 785-842-2787 or toll free at 866-550-2787.