Last week we won a huge victory in Woodward County, Oklahoma. We were able to get three counts dismissed for a client facing charges for various drug-crimes. In fact, we were able to get all of the CDS charges dismissed for our client.
The individual in question was facing charges of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Possession of CDS Methamphetamine, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The stop was based on the an officer's belief that our client was driving while he was high on drugs, but the prosecution was not able to prove the allegations.
Often times law enforcement will try and wrangle a client in under the auspices that he or she "must be on drugs" when the individual doesn't have any detectable blood-alcohol contamination. Granted, the inference is definitely stronger when the driver is found to have a controlled dangerous substance and paraphernalia in his or her proximity; however, under the letter of the law, proximity just isn't enough. The prosecution has to prove that the defendant not only knew that the drugs and paraphernalia were in the vehicle, but also that the defendant had the intent and ability to control the contraband as well.
What To Do
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are caught in a vehicle which contains drugs or drug paraphernalia that is not yours or you did not know about, it is imperative that you hire an experienced drug lawyer, because you will not get the result you want without the aid of an attorney who knows how to defend your constitutional rights.
This is due to the fact that drug charges in Oklahoma, just like anywhere else in the country, are almost always the result of a violation of the client's fourth amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures. Granted, there are obviously occasions when individuals are caught "red-handed," but more often than not, the criminal allegations are the result of a fishing expedition on behalf of local cops conducting a traffic stop.
What NOT To Do
Law enforcement will stop at nothing to get at contraband if they honestly think that it is actually in a vehicle. Sometimes this means that cops will lie to you and tell you that they will "go easier on you" if you just admit that the drugs are in the car. Don't fall for this. The cops have no say in how easy the charges will be, because it is the prosecuting attorneys discretion as to how the charges will initially be filed, not the officer's. Cops will also make threats regarding harsher punishment. Again, they really have no say.
If you ever find yourself in such a position, NEVER give law enforcement permission or consent to search your vehicle. If you do, you will make it much more difficult for your attorney to attack the prosecution's case. If you don't, you will give your attorney an opportunity to suppress whatever evidence law enforcement eventually finds in your vehicle.
Remember, you have constitutional rights against illegal searches and seizures.