Drug charges and the penalties associated with convictions vary considerably according to the illegal drug itself, the quantity found in possession, and whether or not you possessed it for personal use or to distribute, sell, and/or transport it. The one thing that drug crimes have in common is this: high stakes. You risk jail or prison and steep fines, not to mention the collateral consequences that follow a conviction.
Joseph D. Lento has been representing clients accused of drug crimes in Philadelphia for more than 15 years. He knows the legal and technical aspects of these types of cases. He is a skilled negotiator and formidable litigator. He will pursue a drug crime defense that puts your interests first. Contact his law office today to learn more about how attorney Joseph D. Lento will develop your defense.
Are there any defenses to a drug crime allegation in Philadelphia?
There are defenses and there are defense strategies. When appropriate and applicable, Philadelphia drug crime attorney Joseph D. Lento will combine the two to maximize your chances for a favorable outcome. Sometimes a plea deal is best for clients and other times going to trial and fighting is best for clients. Each case is unique and depending on the facts and circumstances, attorney Joseph D. Lento will review with you the strategy he will use to attain the best outcome. Below are common defenses and strategies in drug crime cases.
Lack of Knowledge
Most drug crimes require that you know you have an unlawful drug. It does not necessarily require that you know what the drug is, but only that you knew it was illicit -- this is the same for both controlled substances and dangerous drugs, including prescription drugs.
For example, imagine you have roommates and one roommate hid his stash of marijuana in the couch. The police are tipped that someone is selling marijuana in the house. You happened to be sitting on the couch when the police came with a warrant and subsequently found the stash. You have a viable defense.
Lack of Intent
Intent is an element of many drug crime offenses in Pennsylvania. You may have been charged with one of these crimes, but without the actual intent to do what the police claim you intended to do, there is no commission of the crime.
For example, maybe you were charged with possession with intent to deliver. This charge is often the result of the quantity of drugs found in your possession. Though the amount may be sufficient to suggest that it was not for personal use, it may very well have been for your personal use.
Entrapment occurs when the defendant would not have committed something but for an undercover cop conditioning him or her to do so. There have been many cases where defendants were pushed to acquire and deliver small quantities of marijuana or other drugs because an undercover cop kept badgering him or her to do so. In this instance, it must be shown that you had no predisposition to commit the act.
Unlawful Search & Seizure
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants you rights, and one of those rights is the right to a lawful search and seizure. An officer almost always cannot search your person, your vehicle, your home, or any other property belonging to you without a warrant unless you give the officer permission to do so. Further, the same right requires the officer to have probable cause to arrest you. If a search and seizure is administered unlawfully, then any evidence flowing from it can be suppressed.
To suppress evidence, a motion to suppress will be filed. Joseph D. Lento uses these and other pre-trial motions strategically to advance your case.
How can an experienced Philadelphia drug crime defense attorney benefit you?
If you have been charged with a drug crime, a conviction can mean serious prison time and fines. You need a strong, persuasive defense. Joseph D. Lento will look at all aspects of your case, the facts, and the circumstances, and develop a strong defense. Contact the Lento Law Firm today either online or at 215-535-5353 to set up a consultation.