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Destruction of evidence leads to dismissal of drug cases

While the following story didn't occur here in Orlando, Florida, it does show that even when a drug case seems to be destined to put away the people who are accused of the offense, a simple procedural mistake on the part of the police or prosecution can change the future.

This story is out of Texas, where 90 pending misdemeanor and felony drug cases had to be dismissed a few months back because the evidence involved in those cases was destroyed on accident. Apparently the police department in question had an "overstuffed" property room, and a constable destroyed the evidence to make room -- not realizing the pertinence of the evidence.

Now, let us be clear here: this is not a typical occurrence. No one who is accused of a drug crime should be awaiting the day for a constable or other police officer to accidentally destroy the evidence involved in their case in order to mitigate the damage of the charges or to end the case against them.

However, this does illustrate an important point about drug charges and, to a greater extent, all criminal charges in general. The evidence involved in any case and the processes by which the prosecution and the police administer and use that evidence can be obtained or used in an erroneous manner. When this happens, the case can be dismissed, or it could lead to an burgeoning defense strategy that could minimize the damage in your specific case.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Nearly 100 drug cases dismissed after evidence destroyed," St. John Barned-Smith and Lise Olsen, Aug. 26, 2016

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