How to Beat a Drug Charge in Minnesota

The Balmer Law Office takes an aggressive approach in defending its clients from Minnesota drug charges. Drug charges can be challenged in a variety of ways. Oftentimes we are able to pursue multiple paths in challenging the State’s case against our clients. Here are some of the most common defenses to Minnesota drug charges:

Suppressing Evidence

As a general principle, evidence obtained by the State (the prosecutor or police) in violation of a defendant’s constitutional rights cannot be used against them in court. A good defense attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to get evidence thrown out of court if police or the prosecuting attorney violated the defendant’s constitutional rights during the arrest, while in jail, during interrogation, or at any other time.

Illegal Search or Seizure

Generally speaking, police cannot search or seize your property without probable cause to believe that you committed a crime. If the police illegally searched or seized you or your property (including your car or home), then any evidence obtained as a result of that illegal search cannot be used against you in court.

Miranda Violation

Statements made by the defendant cannot be used against them in court if those statements were obtained while the defendant was under arrest and was not warned about their right to remain silent. Under our Constitution, any response to an unwarned police questions must be suppressed.

Suppressing Pre-trial Identification Procedures

Our Constitution prohibits suggestive and unreliable identification procedures. A smart criminal defense attorney may be able to stop the government from identifying the defendant in court if the attorney can show that the original identification procedures — such as showing a witness pictures, mugshots, or a line-up of suspects — used by the police were unreliable.

Trial Strategies for a Not Guilty Verdict

When a case cannot be won at the pre-trial stage by suppressing the State’s evidence, drug charges can be beat by forcing the State to prove its case at trial. Here are a few trial strategies that can result in a not guilty verdict:


The government cannot seek out and encourage / entice an individual to commit a crime, such as in certain kinds of sting operations. Entrapment is an “affirmative defense” to all crimes, but is a more common defense for drug charges and prostitution-related crimes.

Challenging Proof of Substance

Just because the State says that the substance is a controlled substance / illegal drug doesn’t mean that it is. The State must prove, scientifically, and in court, that the substance is a controlled substance. The Balmer Law Office regularly challenges the scientific reliability of drug testing — seeking to either suppress evidence from trial or cast doubt on the reliability of evidence itself.

Challenging Proof of Knowledge or Intent

Not only does the State need to prove that the item possessed or sold was a controlled substance, it also needs to prove that the defendant had a particular state of mind with respect to that substance. For possession cases, the State needs to prove that you had knowing possession of the item. It is not enough for the State to prove that the item was merely near you. Similarly, for drug sale charges, the State needs to prove that you intentionally sold (or gave away) a controlled substance.

Positioning the Client for Success with Bad Facts

Sometimes the facts of a case just won’t support a not guilty verdict. In those circumstances, the Balmer Law Office works with its clients to position themselves for the best possible alternative. This almost always involves getting clients engaged in a respectable substance abuse treatment program.

Contact an Experienced Minnesota Drug Defense Attorney

Minneapolis drug defense attorney David Balmer is prepared to take on your case. Call him at 612-326-4175 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.