When people from Camden or other parts of New Jersey are arrested on drug charges, they may assume they have no choice but to plead guilty. However, with the help of a criminal defense attorney, there are several ways these charges may be reduced or dismissed.
Common reasons drug charges are dropped
Illegal searches are one common reason drug charges might be dropped. Police officers cannot legally search an individual's body or property unless they have reasonable grounds to believe he or she has committed a crime. If a search is conducted without probable cause, a judge may deem the evidence inadmissible in court. Meanwhile, police corruption could also cause drug cases to fall apart. For example, if police officers are accused of shaking down citizens or suspects during investigations, all past cases they were involved with could be challenged in court, which could lead to dropped charges and overturned convictions.
Defendants may also have solid defense options in cases where the evidence was legally obtained. For instance, many prosecutors will drop one or more charges if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to another charge. This tactic, which is called a plea bargain, saves the court system money and can lead to a lighter sentence for defendants. In addition, it might be possible to get certain charges reduced or dismissed if a defendant is willing to testify against his or her co-defendants in court. This tactic is useful in larger cases involving multiple suspects.
Individuals facing drug charges might be able to improve their situation by contacting an attorney who handles criminal law cases. The attorney could scrutinize the details of the case and challenge any evidence that was illegally acquired. Legal counsel could also work to build a strong defense against the allegations and do everything possible to get the charges dismissed. If the charges stand, the attorney might be able to negotiate a plea bargain that reduces the charges and penalties.