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Possible Defense Strategies With Felony Drug Charges

 Posted on April 30, 2024 in Uncategorized

Grundy County Criminal LawyerWhen facing felony drug charges in Illinois, building a defense strategy can strengthen your case. The penalties for these offenses can be severe, potentially leading to lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. It is beneficial to explore every possible avenue with an Illinois lawyer.

Challenging the Search and Seizure

A frequently employed defense tactic is to contest whether law enforcement lawfully obtained the drug evidence. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, along with Article I, Section 6 of the Illinois Constitution, protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. If the police carried out an illegal search or seizure, such as conducting a search without a valid warrant or exceeding the permissible bounds of a warrant, a skilled defense lawyer can file a motion to suppress.

Law enforcement must have probable cause to conduct a search or make an arrest. Probable cause requires sufficient evidence to lead a reasonable person to believe a crime has been committed. Without proper probable cause, any search and seizure would be unconstitutional, and the evidence ruled inadmissible.

Questioning the Chain of Custody

Another potential defense strategy revolves around questioning the chain of custody of the seized drugs. The prosecution must establish an unbroken chain of custody, demonstrating that the drugs presented as evidence are the same substances seized during the arrest. This chain must account for every transfer of the evidence, from the initial seizure to its presentation in court.

If there are gaps or irregularities in the chain of custody documentation, such as missing signatures, unexplained breaks, or evidence of tampering, it may raise reasonable doubt about the integrity of the evidence. Even minor breaks in the chain could be grounds for having the evidence suppressed or dismissed.

Asserting Entrapment Defense

In certain cases, an entrapment defense may be applicable. Entrapment is defined as the act of law enforcement officers inducing or persuading an individual to commit a crime that they would not have otherwise committed. This could involve tactics like using excessive persuasion, threats, harassment, or other coercive methods.

If it can be proven that the defendant was entrapped into committing the drug offense by overzealous law enforcement, it could potentially lead to a dismissal of charges or a reduction in penalties. However, the defense must show the criminal conduct originated from the creative activity of law enforcement, not just their suggestion of criminal activity.

Exploring Alternative Sentencing Options

Even if the evidence against the defendant is strong, exploring alternative sentencing options may be a viable strategy. Illinois has implemented various diversion programs and drug courts that offer rehabilitation and treatment opportunities instead of incarceration for certain non-violent drug offenses.

For example, the Second Chance Probation program allows eligible defendants to avoid a felony conviction by completing probation and treatment. Drug courts offer supervised probation with treatment requirements as an alternative to traditional case processing. Depending on the specifics of the case and the defendant’s circumstances, these alternative options could provide a path toward accountability while avoiding the harsh consequences of incarceration.

Consult a Grundy County, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Navigating felony drug charges in Illinois can be a tedious process. It is worthwhile to consult with a Will County, IL criminal defense attorney who can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and develop a tailored defense strategy. With Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., you can increase your chances of achieving the best possible outcome and protecting your rights and freedom. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation to see how we can help you.

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