A police officer rings your doorbell while you are hosting a party. According to the cop, a neighbor called in and said they can’t fall asleep due to noise coming from your home. You tell the officer you will turn down the music, but you play your tunes all the time at the same volume when guests aren’t over, and nobody has ever complained. Next thing you know, the officer enters your home and finds a small, clear bag of what appears to be marijuana.
As the host, you supplied the party soundtrack, snacks and alcoholic beverages. Everyone was of legal drinking age, and, to your knowledge, none of your guests were smoking marijuana. Unfortunately, you are now facing a possession of marijuana charge, and you could face jail time and hefty fines if a judge finds you guilty.
Here are some defenses to keep in mind as you prepare to fight for the truth:
- Unlawful search: Perhaps you never agreed to let the police officer into your home. If so, the search and seizure the cop conducted might go against your constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment. Although law enforcement officers don’t always need a search warrant, there should still be a clear reason or probable cause for the search.
- Not yours: Drug possession charges can happen because someone else has left behind drugs in homes or vehicles that don’t belong to them. This could be because of sheer accident or to protect themselves. No matter how the marijuana ended up in your home — whether it’s from a friend you can no longer trust or your house cleaner — you should make it clear in your defense the drugs weren’t yours.
- Minimal THC: Maybe you know exactly which friend brought the drugs in question to your home. It’s your friend who believes in healing through natural herbs and other remedies, and it was hemp rather than marijuana. If that’s the case, then the new hemp laws and/or lab tests confirming the hemp contains less than 0.3% THC could potentially protect you.
Fighting a drug possession charge on your own can prove to be difficult. Teaming up with an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you choose a defense that makes the most sense.