Law enforcement officers sometimes use questionable tactics to establish the basis for criminal charges. Sometimes, they apply information from one situation to another with little regard for the difference between the two circumstances.
For example, because high levels of household traffic have an association with drug sales, police officers might assume that someone who has frequent, short visits from others at their home might sell drugs. Those tasked with enforcing drug laws might wrongly suspect someone of drug use or even manufacturing because of smells or behaviors that they associate with a particular substance, even when there is a reasonable explanation.
The items that police might find in your trash could lead them to suspect drug crimes as well. It isn’t just paraphernalia or items with drug residue on them that could lead to charges. Common household items might make police officers think that you have a meth lab in your house.
The wrong combination of items in your trash can lead to criminal charges
Making methamphetamine requires the combination of multiple chemical components. The purest forms of these chemicals can be hard to come by and are often subject to data collection requirements specifically created to deter methamphetamine production.
However, most meth cooks can create this highly dangerous and addictive substance with a variety of chemicals available for retail purchase. Obviously, law enforcement has a vested interest in tracking the distribution of cold medications whose active ingredients can play a role in meth manufacturing. If police find large quantities of packaging for cold medication in your trash, they might become suspicious.
Other, seemingly more common items could also raise suspicions. These include acetone, such as nail polish remover, pool chemicals like urticaria acid, toluene, ether and cat litter.
Drug charges carry some of the worst possible penalties
Addictive drugs like methamphetamine can ruin someone’s life or even kill a person if they overdose. The verifiable social costs of drug addiction have led to aggressive enforcement efforts.
Those accused of a drug crime, especially manufacturing or trafficking, could find themselves facing harsh sentences and dealing with a criminal record that limits their opportunities for the rest of their life. A strong defense might involve showing that the evidence from your trash has reasonable explanations that have nothing to do with drug creation.