If you’re looking for a Tulsa, Oklahoma, drug lawyer, you’ll need one who understands potential defenses to drug charges. Call Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale at 918-771-7314. Your initial consultation is free. Plus, he will develop a drug defense strategy plan for you. You can also contact the Cale Law Office through the web.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these defense theories depends on the specific circumstances of each case, said Tulsa criminal defense and medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale. Criminal defense attorneys evaluate the evidence, consult with their clients, and tailor their defense strategies accordingly to provide the strongest possible defense.
The following is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Laws change often. So, if you or someone you know needs legal representation for Oklahoma drug or other charges, contact the Cale Law Office.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer will consider several approaches and strategies to challenge the prosecution’s case or lessen drug charges. Here are some common defense theories used in drug-related criminal cases:
1. LACK OF POSSESSION
The defense argues that the accused did not have actual or constructive possession of the drugs in question. They may challenge the evidence by questioning how the drugs were discovered or disputing their connection to the defendant. Actual possession means physical custody. On the other hand, constructive possession entails both a person’s knowledge of the drug’s presence as well as the power and intent to control its use or disposition.
2. UNLAWFUL SEARCH AND SEIZURE
The defense contends that law enforcement violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights by conducting an illegal search or seizure. They may argue that the evidence should be suppressed (thrown out) because it was obtained without a proper warrant or probable cause.
Tulsa criminal defense and medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale says this strategy takes place before any trial. The attorney may file a motion to dismiss the charges with the motion to suppress (exclude) evidence seized by authorities.
The defense asserts that the defendant was induced or coerced by law enforcement to commit a drug-related offense that they would not have otherwise committed. Defense counsel argues that law enforcement officers’ conduct created an opportunity for the crime and that the defendant was not predisposed to engage in such behavior.
When an accused person had no previous intent or purpose to violate the law, but law enforcement officers induced or persuaded the person to commit a crime, then he or she is entitled to the defense of entrapment. That’s because the law as a matter of policy forbids a conviction in such a case, said Tulsa drug lawyer Stephen Cale. However, if a person already has the readiness and willingness to break the law, the mere fact that a police officer provides what appears to be a favorable opportunity is no defense.
4. CHAIN OF CUSTODY ISSUES
The defense challenges the prosecution’s ability to establish a reliable chain of custody for the seized drugs. “The ‘chain of custody’ concept guards against substitution of, or tampering with, physical evidence between the time it is found and the time it is analyzed. ” Harris v. State, 450 P.3d 933, 955 (Okla. Ct. Crim. App. 2019).
Defense counsel may argue that the drugs could have been tampered with, contaminated, or mishandled, casting doubt on their integrity as evidence.
5. CRIME LAB ANALYSIS
With this strategy, the defense questions the accuracy and reliability of the crime lab analysis used to identify the substance as an illegal drug. They may challenge the lab’s methods, qualifications of analysts, or raise doubts about the chain of custody of the drug sample during testing.
6. VALIDITY OF INFORMANT TESTIMONY
The defense questions the credibility and reliability of informants who provided information leading to the arrest. They may argue that the informant had motives to fabricate or exaggerate their claims, casting doubt on the reliability of their testimony.
Tulsa drug lawyer Stephen Cale said there are six things concerning an informant that the prosecution must disclose at least 10 days before trial. Those are:
- The complete criminal history of the informant;
- Any deal, promise, inducement, or benefit that the offering party has made or may make in the future to the informant;
- The specific statements made by the defendant and the time, place, and manner of their disclosure;
- All other cases in which the informant testified or offered statements against an individual but was not called, whether the statements were admitted in the case, and whether the informant received any deal, promise, inducement, or benefit in exchange for or subsequent to that testimony or statement;
- Whether at any time the informant recanted that testimony or statement, and if so, a transcript or copy of such recantation;
- Any other information relevant to the informant’s credibility
Cale said that defense counsel files for a jury instruction concerning the informant. The judge will instruct jurors that they must weigh the informant’s testimony with greater care than the testimony of an ordinary witness. Additionally, the judge instructs the jury that in determining whether the informant’s testimony has been affected by bias against the defendant, they should consider:
- whether the informant has received, been offered, or reasonably expects anything (including pay, immunity from prosecution, leniency in prosecution, personal advantage, or vindication) in exchange for testimony;
- any other case in which the informant testified or offered statements against an individual but was not called, and whether the statements were admitted in the case, and whether the informant received any deal, promise, inducement, or benefit in exchange for that testimony or statement;
- whether the informant has ever changed his/her testimony/statement;
- the criminal history of the informant; and
- any other evidence relevant to the informant’s credibility.
7. MEDICAL NECESSITY OR LEGALITY DEFENSE
In cases involving medical marijuana or other drugs used for medical purposes, the defense argues that the defendant possessed or cultivated the drugs for legitimate medical reasons, following state laws or regulations.
8. MISTAKEN IDENTITY
The defense contends that the defendant was misidentified as the person involved in the drug-related activity. They may argue that eyewitness testimony or other evidence is unreliable or insufficient to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
9. DURESS OR COERCION
The defense asserts that the defendant engaged in drug-related activities under duress or coercion, claiming they were forced to do so to protect their safety or the safety of their loved ones.
10. PROCEDURAL VIOLATIONS:
The defense alleges that law enforcement or the prosecution committed procedural errors that violated the defendant’s rights during the investigation, arrest, or trial. These violations could include failure to provide Miranda warnings, denial of legal counsel, or withholding exculpatory evidence. Exculpatory evidence is evidence that tends to clear a defendant from alleged guilt, or a statement that tends to justify or excuse his or her actions or presence.
WORKING WITH THE CALE LAW OFFICE
The Cale Law Office is dedicated to the practice of criminal defense and medical marijuana law. Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive representation. This is done while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. Your initial consultation is free.
Drug charges can have severe consequences. So, you’ll need serious legal representation. That’s why Stephen Cale is the Tulsa drug defense lawyer for you. Attorney Cale has been serving clients with legal representation since 1999. That means that he’s an attorney with experience.
Serving clients throughout Northeastern Oklahoma, including Tulsa, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Craig, Okmulgee, Creek, Pawnee and Osage counties.