What Are Some Common Defense Strategies Used In These Cases?
The first and most common is, “The drugs are not mine”. In other words, they belong to somebody else and they just happened to be near me, but they were not possessed by me and not owned by me.
It depends on the specific charge you’re facing but a lot of times, with the issues of intent to deliver, there can be defenses if the only witness against you is somebody who is an undercover informant for the police who is trying to work themselves out of some other charge. A lot of times their credibility can be impeached and nobody will believe them and without them, the prosecutor doesn’t have a strong case. That’s a defense sometimes used, that basically don’t believe the wrath, it really depends.
Sometimes you might have a technical defense based on constitutional grounds such as the stop of the vehicle or the search of the vehicle was illegal, or the search of the person was illegal. Those things are all technical, evidentiary defenses that arise in drug cases.
Sometimes you might be able to challenge whether or not the lab test of the drug is reliable. There are a lot of possible defenses but there is no one defense that always applies, it’s really a case by case analysis that’s done in order to figure out what is a viable defense in your particular case.
If Your Drug Case Or Drug Charge Is Dropped Or Acquitted, Is That Going To Be Completely Erased From Your Record?
It depends. If you were not fingerprinted, then it may not show up on your record; if you were fingerprinted and you were arrested and charged, then it may show up on your record that you were arrested, charged and then the case was dismissed.
In some situations like that, you can file a petition for destruction of fingerprints which might then lead to it disappearing from the system so that it’s not in there at all even though the case was dismissed. Usually, there is some record that remains if the person was fingerprinted and officially charged even if the case is dismissed. That would show that the case was dismissed or that they were found not guilty but it would still show the history of how the case went down.
Does Michigan Allow For A Drug Charge To Be Expunged Or Sealed?
Yes. Most drug charges could be expunged if the person is otherwise eligible under the expungement statute. However, that statute recently changed and there are still some efforts to try and change it but in general, what the person has to look at is whether it’s been at least 5 years since they were sentenced on that case and do they have anything else on their record.
If they don’t have anything else on their record or the only thing on their record aside from the drug charge is a minor misdemeanor that happened before they were aged 21, then they very well may be eligible for an expungement. If you’re eligible, it’s extremely important that people should try to obtain the expungement because criminal convictions nowadays follow people forever and with the computer age upon us, it’s easier and easier for this data to travel everywhere you go and follow you everywhere you go.
For more information on Defending Or Removing A Drug Charge In Michigan, call the law office of Attorney Paul Tafelski for a free initial consultation at (248) 451-2200 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.