Whether you were wrongfully charged or feel that you deserve leniency in your drug case, it pays to follow some tips that will allow you to protect your future. A drug case can affect your employment opportunities, prevent you from being able to run for public office or even make it so that you are denied loans or housing if the charge shows up on a background check. To make the best choice for your future and fight this case in court, consider some of these guidelines.
#1: Hire The Best Specialized Criminal Lawyer That You Can Afford
You can always get the help of a general lawyer, but it's better to hire a criminal lawyer who specializes in drug charges. Just as a person charged with a DUI should hire attorneys who specialize in these cases, you should find a lawyer who focuses on the particular drug or classification of drug that you are charged with possessing.
For instance, there are different sentencing guidelines and potential defenses for marijuana--a Schedule I substance--than guidelines for cocaine, a Schedule II substance. When hiring a lawyer, sit down for a consultation and ask about their success rates and what sort of strategy they will use for your case. Most attorneys will offer these consultations for free. Get a list of their fees and payment options in writing so that you're able to move forward with all information on the table.
#2: Gain A Clear Picture Of What You're Up Against
Each state has different sentencing guidelines for people who are found guilty. For instance, the state of Texas has laws that can put you in jail for 180 days for possessing 2 ounces or less of marijuana. Knowing the best and worst case scenarios gives you a clear picture as you move forward with your case.
Criminal defense lawyers use some common strategies when making the prosecution prove you're guilty:
- The assertion that the police found the substance, but could not prove that it was in your possession
- The police used improper arrest procedures or lacked a search warrant
- The police did not have probable cause to stop you
- The substance in question is not the substance that you were charged with possessing
#3: Consider A Plea Agreement
Sometimes, when the evidence stacked against you is too convincing, you might want to take a plea agreement. A plea bargain is an arrangement between the prosecution and your defense team that allows you to receive a lesser charge, or no charge at all, in agreement for paying a fine, pleading guilty or taking less jail time than you would have if the case played out in court. This can work in your favor if you are facing harsher penalties. Make sure that the attorney you hire is skilled in negotiation so that you're able to get a plea agreement that makes the most sense.
Use these tips so that you can get past this difficult period in your life. For further help, hire a criminal defense lawyer, such as those found at Kaiser Law Group, in your area.