Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 10, 2012

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This is a difficult situation. Many more people claim they were set up than actually were, but it does happen. There is a lot of research and investigation to do before you decide what to do. If the law allows it in your state, your lawyer should bring a motion to find out if this cop has had citizen complaints about lying and planting evidence before. Gather up witnesses who know you well and know you have been off drugs for two years, especially people present when you have refused offers of drugs.

How a Drug Charges Lawyer Might Address The Issues of Planted Drugs

Your lawyer might also have an investigator talk to the other cops involved in the operation, or do so himself. If one of them was uncomfortable with the way things went down, he might assist your case in some way. This will probably behind the scenes though – don’t expect any officer to testify that he saw evidence planted.

This might also be a case that would benefit greatly from a timing strategy. Your buddy may not want to incriminate himself to free you, but once his case is done, he has nothing to lose. The prosecutor will likely fight to keep both your cases together. If this is the situation, your lawyer might find a way to delay or separate your case from his, so he can testify for you later. He will not necessarily be believed, but it is a chance.

Don’t overlook having your lawyer research the civil litigation indexes. How many times has this cop been sued? Those that plant drugs or bust heads without cause have a way of collecting lawsuits. Those lawsuits will lead to witnesses.

Don’t overlook the possibility of forensic evidence clearing you. Look into having your hair or other tissue tested. If residue would normally be present after drug use in the past couple of months, and you show none, it supports your testimony. After all, someone who has not used drugs for months or years is pretty unlikely to have a rock of cocaine in his pocket.

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Find a lawyer specializing in drug arrests who is willing to go the whole nine yards for you. There is a lot of work to do, but your case is far from hopeless. If you find the dirt on the cop who planted you, the prosecutor may well want to dismiss against you, even if just to avoid completing trashing up the case against your buddy.