Building Your Defense to North Carolina Drug Charges
Being charged with a drug offense in North Carolina is a serious problem, and it can be hard to know what to do. Many people trust the system and do not believe they need to take any action after they are arrested, but the more proactive you are after being charged, the more likely you are to be able to obtain or affect a positive outcome.
Talk to an Experienced North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer
The first thing to do after you are charged with a drug offense in North Carolina is to talk to an attorney. Do not say anything more than necessary to police and invoke your right to counsel as soon as possible. A lawyer will be able to help assess the facts and circumstances of your specific case and determine the best course of action.
Evaluate Bases for Dismissal
The best defense is a dismissal. You can start by assessing your case to see if there are any bases for dismissal. An attorney will do this automatically. In a drug case, you may have been charged with possession. However, if the officers did not have probable cause or consent for the search then the evidence cannot be used in court and the charges can be dismissed. Likewise, if you were stopped by police without probable cause, then anything stemming from the illegal stop can be thrown out, and the charges are likely to follow.
Learn the Elements of the Crime
It is important to learn the elements of the crime with which you are being charged. The prosecution will have to prove each of these elements to the very high standard of beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you. By outlining the elements of the crime you are charged with, you can begin to make notes that support your innocence or that refute the prosecution’s version of events. You can also begin collecting or listing relevant evidence.
Understand the Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is on the prosecution. This means that you are innocent until proven guilty and it is their job to prove that you are guilty. They must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For this reason, a strong defense will create doubt. The prosecution will put forth a version of events that supports your guilt. The more doubt that you are able to create about their version of events, the harder it will be for them to reach their required standard of proof. Often, the most effective way to create doubt in a drug possession case is to provide an alternative narrative, explaining how it is more or equally likely that the drugs belonged to someone else.
Talk to a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing drug charges in North Carolina, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Coastal South Law are ready to help you build a strong defense, and to fight zealously on your behalf for the best possible outcome. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.