Sure, Colorado has relaxed its approach to drug use, including legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, but this doesn’t mean that law enforcement officials are going to turn a blind eye to all drug offenses. In fact, many Colorado residents find themselves facing very serious criminal charges that can result in severe penalties that include prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and damage to one’s reputation that may be permanent. These penalties can strip an individual away from his family, take away his job and his ability to easily secure employment, and set him on a path to long-term financial hardship.

Yet, simply because you are charged with a drug offense doesn’t mean that you’re going to be found guilty. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. As such, you might have several criminal defense options at your disposal. One of the most significant is suppressing evidence that might otherwise lead to a conviction.

Evidence can be suppressed in a lot of ways. One of the most common is by utilizing the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine. Here, evidence is deemed inadmissible at trial if it was obtained through illegal means or only after an illegal action taken by law enforcement. For example, a traffic stop that lacked reasonable suspicion but later led to the discovery of methamphetamine inside a vehicle is an illegal stop. Since the incriminating evidence was gathered only because of the illegal stop, the evidence can be suppressed, meaning it can’t be used against an accused individual. Addressing these matters in the pre-trial phase of your case can give you a lot of leverage and clarity as to the direction of the case.

Challenging prosecutors on evidentiary issues can be tough. If mishandled, you could end up in a bad position going into negotiations and trial. Don’t let yourself be put at risk simply because you’re unfamiliar with the law and how to use it to your advantage. Instead, consider whether the assistance of a skilled legal advocate is in your best interests.