Evidence in Ocean City Drug Distribution Cases
Law enforcement can use a wide array of evidence in order to prosecute an Ocean City drug distribution case. From the defendant’s standpoint, however, the worst case scenario is when law enforcement can prove drug distribution by having the in-court testimony of an undercover officer saying that they bought drugs from the defendant.
That scenario can be very difficult to defense against, making it even more important for an individual to have an experienced attorney on their side to gather all the necessary evidence to mount a defense.
Other Types of Evidence
Sometimes the evidence in Ocean City drug distribution cases is not that direct. The state, for example, may decide to use evidence that they gather from a search and seizure warrant that was executed on the individual’s apartment. If the police have a valid search and seizure warrant and they execute it the way they are supposed to, through that search and subsequent seizure, they can find a lot of things that might be able to prove that it is a distribution case.
Further, the state may use people to make a purchase, not an undercover officer, but someone. Often, if it is a controlled buy like that, it is not unusual for an officer to be wearing some sort of camera to record the interaction.
Officers may drive around in an undercover car and make purchases, and those cars have cameras on them recording from every angle, every door, et cetera. When this occurs, law enforcement can use that video evidence at trial.
Defending Video Footage
In these cases, the defendant may claim that they are not the individual featured in the video. Depending on the jurors and the evidence, this defense can sometimes be successful. It also can be helpful if the witnesses that the state has attempted to use has a record, which happens frequently because the state is relying on the testimony of someone saying they bought from a particular person.
Oftentimes, the person who did the buying is probably working in agreement with the police because they have been caught doing something that they are trying to relieve themselves of. It would not be unusual for that person to have a record and depending on their record, it may be impeachable. In that case, the defense attorney might be able to bring forward and cross-examine that person about their prior criminal record.
Using the witnesses record as a factor in an Ocean City drug distribution case can help an individual strengthen their defense. Video footage and witness identity are normally the most highly contested parts of the trial.
For a distribution case, sometimes the highly contested issue can be the identity of the defendant because it depends on who is making the purchase and who is identifying this defendant as the distributor. Sometimes, the investigation is not done well.
An example of that is when police officers make a purchase from a distributor, but they do not immediately arrest the person. The reason that they do not want to do that is because they do not want to disclose that they are police. They are more likely to be able to make more buys if it is not disclosed that they are law enforcement.
The problem is that law enforcement has to go back later and try to establish the identity of the person that sold the drugs, which can be very difficult. If all they have is video evidence from the car they were driving, depending on the quality of the video, the identification may not be great.
If the person was wearing a hood or sunglasses, if the quality of light is not great, or the recording device is not a very good quality, proving identity can be difficult. If the individual cannot be identified, it may not be a successful piece of evidence on behalf of the prosecution.
Choosing An Attorney
When selecting an attorney to represent you in a drug distribution case, look for one who regularly practices in that jurisdiction, because it is important to hire someone who knows the judges, the prosecutors, and the potential jury pool. They will have had experience picking juries, knowing what arguments work well and which arguments may not, as well as knowledge regarding how particular judges tend to rule on different types of motions. That is where the experience that is unique to that jurisdiction comes into play. It is also helpful if the defense attorney has prior jury trial experience because these cases are typically heard in circuit court, which gives the person the right to have a jury.
In addition, it makes a difference if the accused previous cases of drug distribution, because the attorney will be familiar with all the constitutional arguments that may apply in defending a drug distribution case.