What are Drug Cases?
Drug crimes prohibit a wide range of activities including the possession, sale, manufacture, distribution, and trafficking of illegal narcotics.
Drug crimes carry severe consequences based on the activity (such as possessing vs. selling). The penalties also vary from community service to life in prison based upon the type and amount of the drug. Additionally, if you are a student, pleaing guilty to a drug charge will result in losing your financial aid. Mountain Legal prides itself upon providing you with the best information about the law and then going through the facts of your case, step by step, to resolve your case as favorably as possible.
Drug Cases and Your Right to Privacy
Drug Cases are unique in the sense that they usually involve officers who have to conduct a search or investigation to find the actual drugs. In general, an officer cannot search you because it is a violation of your Constitutional Right to Privacy. In these searches, officers are severely limited in what they can do based on what they have already seen, the permissions that you have given them, the circumstances surrounding the search and the area that is going to be searched. If the officer does not follow the appropriate procedure for conducting a search, the items that are found will be suppressed. As a result, it is essential for the attorney to take a hard look at how the search was conducted and why the officer thought that a search was necessary. By closely examining the circumstances surrounding a search, it is often possible to find illegality in the police officer’s conduct that will result in suppression of evidence and an eventual dismissal of the case.
Should you take your case to trial?
In most drug cases, the major issues will be tried before a judge in Pre-Trial hearings well before the case goes to trial. These pre-trial hearings will largely effect the strength of your case going into trial and the plea offers that you will receive before trial. For example, if you win a pre-trial hearing and know that the prosecutor will not be able to present any evidence of drugs, you will want to try the case (in all likelihood, the prosecutor will dismiss the case before trial because he will know that he is going to lose). But if the prosecutor wins a pre-trial hearing and you know that unfavorable drug results will come in, you might not only lose the trial but you may lose any favorable plea offer that the prosecutor originally made available to you. The real cost of losing a pre-trial hearing is the devastating effect that it can have on a plea offer. As a result, you need to be appropriately advised of the strengths and weaknesses of your case so you can make the right choices in your case.
The risks of pleaing to a drug crime
Drug crimes often have severe consequences that are not always apparent. Some of the most obvious consequences include jail time and probation. For example some drug charges carry between ten years to life.
One of the less obvious consequences of pleaing to a drug charge is that you will lose your financial aid if you are a student.
Typically there are diversion programs that you can enter that will allow you to avoid pleaing guilty and that will result in a dismissal of your case. By knowing your options, you will be able to make an informed decision about how you want to proceed in your case. It is always advisable to hire an attorney when you are facing drug charges. Without an attorney you simply will not know what your true options would have been.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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