If you were caught by a law enforcement officer red handed with drugs on your person, you may be thinking “I’m guilty, why do I even need to bother retaining a criminal defense lawyer?” What you may not be aware of is that regardless of the evidence the prosecution superficially seems to wield against you, you possess many options other than to automatically issue a guilty plea. A criminal defense attorney can outline these options for you, and help you to secure a lesser penalty, or even have your case thrown out entirely.
Just because you have been caught doing something wrong or illegal does not mean that this corresponds with the tangible crime you are charged with. Prosecutors will often selectively present or manipulate evidence to craft a story more amenable to the particular charge they are pursuing against you. Each crime on the books is unique and requires a unique set of factors to be proven in order to secure conviction. For example, if you are pulled over in your car with a passenger and the law enforcement officer finds drugs in the car, they may charge you with drug possession. However, circumstances such as where in the car the drugs were found, details about your passenger, and other mitigating factors may render the drug possession charge inappropriate. Only a seasoned drug crime defense lawyer would know how to identify these details.
Further, law enforcement officials are required to follow strict legal protocols in conducting searches, seizures and arrests. Oftentimes, police officers lack reasonable suspicion to pull a vehicle over or cause to search the vehicle. Even if they find drugs in your possession, their failure to observe the proper guidelines for reasonable search could constitute grounds to have the entire case thrown out of court. Again, only a drug crime defense lawyer could identify these areas of possible weakness in the prosecution’s case and act accordingly.
Finally, even if the conduct of the law enforcement officers is infallible and the prosecution appropriately charges you, you may still have options in negotiating your sentence. Many judges are amenable to creating alternative sentencing arrangements to traditional incarceration, such as mandatory treatment or community service, for first-time offenders. However, you would need the assistance of an attorney to advocate for one of these alternative arrangements.
In sum, although your case may seem superficially futile, you may stand to gain a lot in retaining a qualified drug crimes defense attorney.
Posted in: Drug Crimes