Receiving drug charges can change your life overnight. If your charges result in a conviction, you may face serious fines, restrictions to your freedom and opportunities, and even jail time. The laws in many parts of the country are softening toward some substances, and Massachusetts legalized marijuana just a few years ago, but drug convictions still receive some of the harshest penalties handed out for non-violent crimes.

If you face drug charges, you should take the situation seriously, but should not let yourself panic. You may have more options for building a defense than you realize at first, and the sooner you begin working on your defense, the more time you have to protect yourself and your future. A strong legal strategy is essential to keeping your rights secure whenever you face criminal charges of any kind.

Examine your arrest

Police are bound by laws that they must follow, and it is possible that police broke their own guidelines during your arrest. If police violated your rights as a part of their search and seizure of evidence, then you may have grounds for challenging the charges.

Similarly, you may receive charges based on circumstantial evidence that does not hold up to scrutiny. Even if the evidence against you seems like it is strong when you first review it, there are typically more ways to build a defense than you may see at first glance.

Putting the evidence to the test

If police seized a substance as evidence against you, you should consider requesting that the evidence itself undergo testing in a laboratory. In order for the prosecution to comply with your request, they must find the evidence and physically present it to the lab. There is always the possibility that the evidence against you was misplaced during filing, and the case against you weakens if the prosecution cannot find the evidence to test.

If the prosecution produces the evidence for testing, the testing may not support your charges. This can prove particularly useful if your charges involved substances that are not easy to identify visually or through smell.

These are only a few of the tools you may use to defend yourself from drug charges. However you choose to move forward, make sure that you use your resources and time wisely to keep your priorities and rights secure. Your future freedoms deserve protection, regardless of the charges against you.