Tossing Drugs While Fleeing on Foot: How Can Police Prove They Were Yours?
A common theme in Fort Myers drug cases involves suspects allegedly tossing away controlled substances while being pursued by police. When these substances are recovered by officers, they become important evidence. But how exactly do officers prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that the suspect tossed the items? What happens if they never saw the suspect throw away the controlled substances?
Police Find Drug Container Inscribed with Defendant’s Full Name
On January 26th, the Justice Department reported that a defendant in Fort Myers had been sentenced to four years in prison for possessing a firearm as a felon and cocaine possession with intent to distribute. In June of 2023, the defendant fled from a traffic stop on foot, leaving behind a satchel. Police opened the satchel and discovered a pill bottle labeled with the defendant’s full name. Inside the pill bottle, they uncovered a half-ounce of crack cocaine. They also located a firearm near the abandoned vehicle.
In this case, the defendant’s drug supply was literally labeled with his full name – leaving very little doubt as to who it belonged to. However, this is not always the case. For example, the suspect could have ran around a corner before throwing an unlabeled baggy into a dumpster. If the police never saw him throw the drug into the dumpster, then could they still claim it was his?
The Burden of Proof When Recovering Tossed Drugs
Prosecutors always carry the burden of proof when attempting to secure drug convictions. It is their job to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that the tossed drugs were in the defendant’s possession prior to the pursuit. If no one actually witnessed the defendant throw the drugs away, then it could be difficult to establish possession.
What If the Police Lie About My Drug Possession?
Although it might seem unthinkable for a law enforcement professional to plant drugs on innocent people or lie about what they have witnessed, this is not unheard of. In 2022, it was reported that a North Florida deputy had planted meth on 33 innocent drivers. He was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison – but not before he had drastically altered the lives of completely innocent people. These are factors to keep in mind as defendants approach drug cases, especially in situations where possession of tossed, abandoned, or discarded drugs isn’t exactly clear.
Find a Qualified Drug Crime Defense Lawyer in Fort Myers
If you have been accused of drug crimes, look no further than the Fort Myers drug crime lawyers at Foley & Wilson. We know that evidence in a drug case is often quite unreliable, and we can question this evidence in an effective manner. Before you accept any deals from prosecutors, you might want to consider whether the evidence laid against you actually stands up to scrutiny. Drugs that were allegedly tossed away during pursuits represent only one possible example of this. Book your consultation today to learn more – and get started with an effective defense strategy.