Law enforcement officials recently arrested four people just outside of Philadelphia who were allegedly dealing drugs. The police arrested the four people after executing a search warrant at their home early in the morning hours while the people inside were still sleeping. The police allegedly found cash, a gun, baggies of heroin and marijuana and a scale, among other things. Three of the people were charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, and one was also charged with drug dealing.
These charges could result in some serious consequences for these people if they are convicted. The consequences could include mandatory prison time if they are found guilty of possessing drugs with intent to distribute. This determination is based on the type of drug that was found, the amount of the drug, how it was packaged and if there was any cash found.
However, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and there may be defenses available based on the facts of a specific case. Many defenses start with whether the police conducted a legal search of a person’s belongings. If the police did not conduct a legal search or the basis for the search warrant was deficient, then any evidence found may be suppressed. If the prosecutor cannot use the drugs that were seized as evidence, it greatly diminishes the likelihood of a conviction.
Many people in Philadelphia are charged with drug-related crimes. While the consequences can be serious, there may be defenses available to a criminal defendant. Understanding these legal defenses may be the key to avoiding a conviction.
Source: Daily Times, “Four charged in Upper Darby drug raid” Linda Reilly, June 24, 2014