Some people get arrested for drug offenses in Illinois because police officers find something in their backpacks, purses or pockets that they believe is contraband. Those individuals could then face prosecution that could lead to a variety of penalties and also a lifetime criminal record if they either plead guilty or are convicted in criminal court.
However, not all drug cases originate from the police finding drugs on someone’s person. Sometimes, they merely find the drugs close to a defendant. Drugs found in someone’s vehicle or home could lead to charges against them. The state can prosecute someone even if they maintain that the drugs that law enforcement professionals found were not actually theirs. In such scenarios, prosecutors would likely attempt to develop a claim of constructive possession.
Constructive possession can lead to a specific defense opportunity
For the state to move forward with drug charges, they have to prove that someone had control over the drugs or over the person in possession of the drugs. Therefore, those accused of a drug offense based on constructive possession can undermine that allegation in court. Doing so is often a better choice than giving up and pleading guilty.
Perhaps there is a reasonable alternative explanation for why law enforcement professionals found drugs in someone’s vehicle or home. The behavior of a roommate or the recent acquisition of a vehicle on the secondary market are both factors that could play a role in someone’s defense.
The less clear it is that someone knew about or interacted with the drugs found, the better the chances of a defense attorney raising real questions about the state’s claim of constructive possession. In some cases, providing an alternate explanation might be a viable strategy. Other times, the approach might involve raising questions about whether someone could possibly have known about the presence of the drugs that police found.
Instead of assuming that it isn’t possible to fight back against criminal charges, it is often preferable for those accused of drug offenses in Illinois to look into different defense options. Fighting back against allegations of construction possession with the assistance of a skilled attorney can potentially help someone to avoid a conviction and the consequences associated with it.