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Suppressing evidence when facing drug charges

Drug charges can threaten to rip a lot away from an accused individual. To start, an individual's freedom can be taken upon conviction with the implementation of a lengthy prison sentence. A criminal conviction on drug charges can also land an individual with significant fines that can ruin his or her financial viability for years, sometimes even decades, to come. Drug charges alone can also threaten an individual's reputation in his or her professional communities. With so much at stake, it is crucial that those who have been accused of committing a drug crime develop the best criminal defense possible under the circumstances.

One of the best defense tactics is seeking the suppression of evidence. When evidence is suppressed, the prosecution is barred from presenting it in court to the judge and jury and it cannot be considered when making a determination as to the accused individual's guilt. Perhaps the most common way that evidence is suppressed in drug cases is by demonstrating that law enforcement either broke the law or failed to follow certain protocols during their investigation. In these instances, any evidence gathered subsequent to the illegal act may be considered "fruit of the poisonous tree" and therefore inadmissible.

Take, for example, a simple traffic stop. During the course of that stop an officer searches the vehicle and finds a kilo of cocaine in the trunk. The driver is then arrested and charged with multiple drug offenses. If the officer broke the law in some fashion, such as by lacking justification for the traffic stop or by failing to have consent or cause to initiate the search and seizure, then the fact that cocaine was found in the vehicle may be suppressible.

The suppression of evidence can be a powerful criminal defense tactic. However, it often takes a strong understanding of the law as well as the ability to persuasively argue it in front of a judge and jury in order to be successful. For this reason, those who have been subjected to drug charges may want to discuss their criminal defense options with an attorney of their choosing.

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