Imagine you're driving home from a late-night shift at work on a Saturday evening, and for some reason, the police have decided to pull you over and perform a traffic stop. You find out that the officer suspects you of being intoxicated by illegal substances, and you're asked to get out of the car so the police can search your vehicle. The next thing you know, you're being arrested on charges of cocaine possession. What the officer doesn't realize is that your alleged "cocaine" is a baggy of confectionary sugar from your cake decorating shop.
Fortunately, you will be able to defend yourself against your drug possession charges if there is no lab evidence to prove that the alleged drug was indeed a chemical substance. In most cases, this kind of laboratory evidence is a required part of the trial process. In some cases, defendants may even want to order their own, independent drug lab analysis to help show that a particular substance is not unlawful.
Police often make errors in the field when trying to identify drugs. In fact, police mistaking sugar for drugs is not unheard of. This is why prosecutors generally need to introduce laboratory test result evidence that a specific substance really is a drug. If this evidence cannot be produced -- for example -- or the substance is not a drug -- then the defendant will likely get his or her charges dropped or dismissed.
Drug possession allegations are serious. If you've been wrongly accused of this crime, make sure you learn about the most appropriate ways to navigate your criminal proceedings to reduces the chances of being punished for a crime you didn't commit.