What are Defenses to Drug Possession in Kansas?
You were arrested with drugs in your possession. Prosecutors have charged you with unlawful possession of a controlled substance under Section 21-5706 of the Kansas Statutes, and you are minimally facing up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Depending upon the specific circumstances involved, you could be facing penalties that are far more severe.
What defenses do you have available?
5 Potential Defenses to Drug Possession Charges in Kansas
While it might seem that trying to defend against a drug possession charge is pointless, especially if you were in fact in possession of illegal drugs, the reality is that there are several potential defenses to unlawful possession of a controlled substance under Kansas law. Some examples of these defenses include:
1. The Drugs Weren’t Yours
In order to secure a conviction, prosecutors must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were yours. If you did not know that you had the drugs (i.e. someone else stashed them in your pocket), or if you were arrested simply because you were in a room or vehicle where drugs were present, this may provide a defense to your drug possession charge.
2. Inadequate Chain of Custody
When the police confiscate drugs during an arrest, they must maintain an adequate chain of custody so that prosecutors can prove that the drugs that are presented in court are the same drugs with which you were arrested. If the chain of custody is flawed, this can provide a defense as well.
3. Police Misconduct
From planting drugs to conducting an unlawful search or seizure, various forms of police misconduct can provide defenses to drug possession charges in Kansas state court.
4. Prosecutorial Misconduct
Various forms of prosecutorial misconduct can provide defenses to drug possession charges in Kansas state court as well. Withholding evidence, tampering with evidence, and encouraging false testimony are just a few examples of prosecutorial misconduct that may entitle you to walk free regardless of the underlying facts of your case.
5. You Use Cannabis for Medical Treatment
If you were charged with marijuana possession and you have a valid physician’s letter recommending the use of cannabis for medical treatment, then you may have an “affirmative defense” under Section 21-5706(d).
Mitigating the Consequences of Your Kansas Drug Possession Charge
Importantly, even if you do not have a defense that you can use to avoid a conviction entirely, asserting an effective defense could still serve to mitigate the consequences of your arrest. In Kansas, judges consider several factors when making sentencing decisions for drug crimes, and you may be able to significantly reduce your sentence by showing that these factors weigh in your favor.
Speak with Criminal Defense Attorney Jerry Merrill about Your Drug Crime Defense
Are you facing a drug possession charge in Kansas? To learn what defenses you may be able to use to avoid a conviction or reduce your sentence, schedule a free case evaluation with criminal defense attorney Jerry Merrill today. Call 913-381-2085 or request an appointment online now.