Evidence in Drug Crime Cases
If you have been arrested for a Tennessee drug crime, you may be anxious or uncertain about the outcome and potential consequences. It is important to remember that the legal standard needed for an arrest or criminal charge is much lower than a conviction. To get a conviction, the state must have sufficient evidence in drug crime cases to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Nashville drug crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy has decades of experience defending drug cases and understands the evidence commonly used by prosecutors. He can provide guidance to people facing charges for drug crimes in Davidson and Williamson Counties.Evidence in Drug Crime Cases
Tennessee and federal drug laws cover a wide-range of conduct involving drugs classified as controlled substances. The required evidence in drug crime cases depends primarily on the specific crimes alleged against the defendant. In all criminal cases, the burden is on the prosecution to produce sufficient evidence of each element of the alleged offense at trial. The legal standard for a drug crime conviction is high. To prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged drug crimes, the prosecution must have strong evidence. The defendant has the right to present their own evidence and rebut the prosecution’s evidence, but is not required to do either to avoid a conviction. If the defendant asserts a defense to a drug charge, however, the defendant typically has the burden to present evidence or proof that it applies.Evidence Collection
In many drug crime cases, key evidence is gathered in a police search of the defendant’s home, car, storage unit, or other location. Evidence of illegal drugs, large amounts of cash, weapons, and drug paraphernalia are some of the items that may be seized in a drug crimes case. In some cases, a K-9 unit or drug sniffing dogs may have been used to detect the presence of drugs. It is important to note that every person has a constitutionally protected right to freedom from unreasonable government searches and seizures. As such, there are constitutional protections and laws that govern how evidence may be collected and used against a person.
The police can conduct a lawful search for drugs in several different ways, but the two most common are with the voluntary consent of the appropriate person, or with a search warrant. If drug evidence was collected in a search made by police without a warrant or consent, or in a search that was otherwise unconstitutional, the defendant may object that the evidence is not admissible at trial.
Obtaining the alleged drugs is often essential to the state’s case. Proof that a drug is, in fact, a controlled substance is an element of almost every Tennessee drug offense. Typically, the substance is tested in a lab to determine its composition. For the results to be admitted as evidence, the prosecution must establish that the sample was properly handled through an unbroken chain of custody.
The testimony of witnesses is also considered evidence in a drug case. Testimony from the arresting officer, other individuals who witnessed the alleged drug offense, or expert witnesses may by used by the prosecution to establish an element of the crime. Although the defendant is not required to testify at their trial, a confession or other statements made outside of court may be admissible, depending on the circumstances.Seek the Advice of an Attorney in Nashville
A lawyer can answer your questions regarding evidence in drug crime cases and object to evidence that has been obtained illegally. Attorney Bernie McEvoy is dedicated to protecting the rights of defendants prosecuted for alleged drug crimes, such as possession, possession with intent to sell, trafficking, and manufacturing, DUIs, domestic violence, and other serious offenses. Mr. McEvoy can assist people located in Nashville, Franklin, and areas throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. Request a free consultation to discuss your case by calling (615) 255-9595 during daytime hours or (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends, or contact us online.