If you have been accused of a drug crime in Montana, you are facing serious penalties. Even a relatively minor offense could have long-term repercussions, as a conviction for a drug offense may harm your reputation and limit your opportunities for future employment or education. There are many reasons, therefore, to contest the charges that have been made against you. There are many possible defenses against drug charges – your criminal defense attorney can help you determine which, if any, are applicable in your case. • Unlawful Search and Seizure: The Fourth Amendment states that all Americans are protected from unlawful or arbitrary searches. This right is often cited in drug crime cases; if the investigating officer did not have a search warrant and the drugs were not in plain view when they were seized, they may have been taken illegally. If this was the case, the drugs themselves cannot be entered as evidence. This generally results in the dismissal of charges. • Crime Lab: The prosecution has to prove that the drugs it recovered at the scene actually are drugs. To do this, the prosecution must go through the time-consuming task of employing the state crime lab. • Denying Ownership: A key part of criminal defense work is forcing the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, every aspect of its case. This often comes into play when the defendant claims that the drugs found at the scene did not belong to him or her. The prosecution will then be forced to prove that the drugs did belong to the defendant – a task that may be impossible. • Entrapment: Sting operations are a common tool for law enforcement officials. Sometimes, however, they go too far by convincing citizens to commit crimes that they otherwise would not have committed. In these situations, a claim of police entrapment can be very effective. If you have been arrested, it is important that you speak to an attorney about your options. You may have opportunities to defeat the charges you face, but it can be difficult to identify these opportunities without the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The law firm of Tipp & Buley provides criminal defense services to clients across Western Montana. To schedule a confidential, one-on-one consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact our firm online or call 406-549-5186.