What should I do if I am arrested on a drug crime charge?

Being arrested for on suspicion of a drug crime can be a terrifying ordeal.  However it is important to bear in mind that an arrest does not equate to a conviction for a drug crime.  If you have been arrested, it is important to keep calm and think rationally about your situation.
Even if you are caught with an illicit substance on your person or otherwise with your possession, you are not necessarily without recourse.  Police officers and prosecutors must meet a certain burden of evidence before they can bring charges against you.  In investigating and attempting to meet that burden of evidence, there are several mistakes that can be made that may render certain items of evidence inadmissible, and weaken their case against you.  For example, a police officer must have lawful cause to search you, your home or your care on suspicion of drug possession.  Materials discovered during an unlawful search are inadmissible during trial.  An attorney specializing in drug crime defense will be able to best advise you on where you may have a potential case for unlawful search or seizure.

During your arrest and subsequent booking, incarceration and arraignment, it is important to be cognizant of everything you and the law enforcement officials are doing and saying.  As soon as you are able to, write down as many details about your arrest as possible.  The clearer an account of the events leading to your arrest you have, the more fodder you and your attorney will have to craft a strong defense later on.

Be aware of your rights, especially your right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination.  After you have been arrested, do not feel pressured to divulge details about your crime or to justify your actions.  You are not obligated to provide law enforcement with any information other than identifying facts, and anything you say about your crime may be mobilized by the prosecution in their case against you.

As soon as you are able, ask to speak with a defense attorney.  You may either call a third party attorney, or if you have none, the government should provide you with a public defender.  An attorney who specializes in drug crimes defense is your best bet, as they will have ample experience dealing with exactly the sorts of legal issues you will be facing if formal charges are filed against you.

Posted in: Drug Crimes