By Alexis Sykes

Le’Keian Woods was arrested for multiple felonies in September.  Woods’s arrest went viral after the release of video depicting police use of force during his arrest and the release of Woods’ booking photo that depicted substantial injuries to his face.  Woods’ charges were later downgraded by prosecutors after a review of all the available evidence.

Le’Keian Woods case and arrest video analyzed by alexis sykes

Woods was initially charged with trafficking drugs, but those charges were reduced to simple possession.  This can happen for several reasons.  In a case where more than one person is in a vehicle, the drugs could be jointly possessed, but only if there is evidence that each person displayed some level of knowledge and ownership of the contraband.  Examples of ways to prove knowledge and control over an item include evidence that the drugs were very near to the person, the person admitting knowledge of the items, or recovering their DNA or prints from the contraband.  Without evidence to show either individual or joint knowledge and control of the drugs, the prosecutors cannot attribute the items to the arrested person.  Another potential reason could be that the drugs were tested later by a lab and found to either not be the substance initially described or the drugs did not meet the weight requirement to be charged as trafficking.

Criminal charges can also become harder for prosecutors to prove when a use of force incident sparks public disapproval.  The injuries received during an arrest can make potential jurors uneasy with a guilty verdict regardless of the level of evidence in a case.  Further, injuries during an arrest can create civil liability if proven to be an excessive use of force.  While Woods did run from police as evidenced by the video, a potential jury may nullify a verdict for resisting without violence if they find the use of force was excessive. Even if found guilty, a Court could consider all facts during a sentencing.  Therefore, the injuries received by Woods during this arrest could substantially impact the overall outcome of his case.

If you are charged with trafficking drugs, it is important that the drugs be tested for the appropriate substance and weight before entering a plea.  And if you are ever injured during an arrest or in police custody, you should consult with one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys, don’t hesitate to call us at 352-WIN-4YOU We are available 24/7 and we offer payment plans.