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How Can I Defend Against Drug Possession Charges in Illinois?

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Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney drug possession

Attitudes about drugs have changed dramatically in the last several decades. Illinois’ recent decision to legalize the recreational use of marijuana is one of the best examples of this. However, the possession, consumption, transportation, or manufacture of certain substances is still strictly illegal. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with drug possession, the penalties can be severe. That is why it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you build a robust defense against these serious charges.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives us the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. It also establishes the need for search warrants. One of the ways that this important right is applied is through the “exclusionary rule.” This rule prevents any evidence obtained in violation of a criminal defendant’s rights from being used against him or her during a criminal proceeding. If the illicit substances allegedly found in your possession were discovered during an unlawful search, this evidence may be inadmissible.

Typically, police cannot search a person’s home without first obtaining a valid search warrant from a judge. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If evidence is in plain view, someone in the home is in immediate danger, or someone living in the home gave police permission to search, they may not need a search warrant. Law enforcement does not need a search warrant to search a vehicle; however, they do need “probable cause.” This means that there must be some indication of criminal activity or illegal contraband in the vehicle. Your lawyer can help you determine if you were the victim of an unlawful search and seizure.

Arguing the Ownership or Identity of the Drug

To obtain a conviction for drug possession in Illinois, the prosecution must prove that:

  • The substance was in fact an illicit drug.

  • The drug was in your possession.

  • You knowingly possessed the drug.

Your attorney may argue each of these facts depending on the circumstances of your case. One of the hardest elements to prove in a drug possession case is that the defendant knowingly possessed the substance. If a passenger in your vehicle hid drugs under the seat of your vehicle during a traffic stop, for example, you may not have known that the drugs were in your car.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with drug possession, contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. right away. You have a Constitutional right to remain silent. Do not let police question you without your attorney present. Call our office today at 815-666-1285 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our skilled Will County criminal defense attorneys.



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