Defenses Against a Drug Charge
According to data from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, law enforcement made about 16,367 drug-related arrests across the state in 2019. Under Oklahoma law, possession, manufacturing, and distribution of controlled substances are considered serious offenses. If convicted, a defendant could be facing huge fines, lengthy prison sentences, and other social ramifications.
At Wilson Law Firm PLLC, I'm dedicated to offering comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation to clients facing drug charges. As your legal counsel, I can review the facts of your case, conduct a thorough investigation, and determine the best possible defenses for your personal situation. As an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, I will fight aggressively to defend your rights and refute the charges against you with overwhelming evidence. My firm proudly serves clients across Shawnee, Norman, Chandler, Okemah, and Ada, Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Search and Seizure Laws
The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution grants American citizens freedom from "unreasonable searches and seizures." The same also applies to Oklahoma residents. Pursuant to Section II-30 of the Oklahoma Constitution:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches or seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, describing as particularly as may be the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized."
The above rights limit the power of law enforcement to arrest, search a person or property, and seize a piece of evidence or contraband, thereby respecting the privacy of Oklahoma residents and protecting them from unlawful search and seizure.
There are certain scenarios, however, when the police or other law-enforcement officials can override your privacy rights and conduct a search on you, your property, home, and belongings. Searches are legal in the following scenarios:
If a police officer requests your consent to conduct a search and you grant it, then the officer has the legal right to search your or your property and seize any contraband found during the search.
An officer who believes there is enough reason to conduct a search on a person or property can present an affidavit to the judge stating the perceived reasons why the search should take place. Should the judge agree with the officer's reasons, a search warrant may be granted. With this warrant, the officer can search the person or area as directed.
Plain View Doctrine
The plain view doctrine states that if a police or law enforcement officer, in a place where they have a lawful right to be, discovers incriminating evidence or contraband within plain sight, they have the legal right to confiscate the item found and use it as probable cause to make an arrest.
Does the Fourth Amendment Apply?
The purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to protect a person's privacy and prevent unlawful search and seizure. In order to determine whether the Fourth Amendment applies to a certain situation, the court will consider:
- Whether the person actually expected privacy
- Whether the expectation of privacy will be considered reasonable by the society
For instance, installing a monitoring device and conducting a search in a public restroom violates the user's privacy and is subject to the provisions of the Fourth Amendment. Conversely, the police can act on a suspicion spotted by a nearby traffic camera and conduct a search of the restroom.
Defenses Against Drug Crimes
When facing drug crimes allegations, your attorney may seek to argue your case using any of the following defenses:
- Unlawful search and seizure
- The substances found belonged to someone else
- The substances were planted
- The drugs were for medicinal use
- Proof of intent
- Missing evidence (State no longer has the drugs that were seized)
Hire an Experienced Drug Charges Attorney
Trying to defend yourself against drug crimes charges on your own, without proper guidance or legal representation, can expose you to the risks of being convicted and receiving the maximum penalties. If convicted, you could face severe penalties, including heavy fines, a lengthy prison sentence, a permanent criminal record, and other life-altering consequences. A knowledgeable Oklahoma criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and determine your best defense.
At Wilson Law Firm PLLC, I've devoted my career to handling drug crime cases and defending clients wrongfully accused of drug offenses. As your legal counsel, I will review and investigate every detail of your case and explore your possible legal defenses for your personal situation. I will help you navigate the Oklahoma criminal justice system, attempt to refute the charges against you, and maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
Contact my firm — Wilson Law Firm PLLC — today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. I can offer you the experienced legal guidance, strong advocacy, and skilled representation you need to fight the allegations against you. I proudly represent clients in Shawnee, Norman, Chandler, Okemah, and Ada, Oklahoma.