Abandonment in Drug Cases

Abandonment can come up in two ways in drug cases.  First, a person may initially intend to possess drugs.  They might call a dealer and set up a meeting.  The person then has second thoughts and abandons the plan to buy the drugs.  That is not a defense so much as a complete lack of one element of the offense of possession of drugs.  In short, the person never possessed the drugs, so the prosecution cannot prove the possession element of drug possession.  As such, the charge should fail. Drug Crimes

Second, in conspiracy cases, someone may have a certain role that they are to play in the procuring of drugs, selling of drugs, concealing of profits from drug sales (money laundering), etc.  Once the person has agreed to fulfill this role, they are very close to committing conspiracy.  However, if the person changes his mind and never takes a substantial step, i.e., an overt act, towards fulfilling that role.  Thus, he is said to have abandoned his role in the conspiracy.  Again, that charge should fail.

In sum, the key to abandonment as a defense is information showing that you knowingly relinquished your role in the crime.

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Tad Brittingham
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Criminal defense attorney Tad Brittingham is dedicated to serving his clients throughout the Cincinnati area