According to recent data, more than 1.5 million people are arrested for drug offenses in the United States every year. Approximately 90% of those arrests are for possession, with the remainder for distribution, trafficking, or manufacturing. Many people who end up incarcerated have substance abuse disorders that require medical treatment and may not receive the help they need to recover.
But there are always two sides to every story. If you find yourself in trouble with the law, you may want to hire a lawyer for drug crimes near you to fight for justice in your case.
A drug crimes lawyer is an expert in criminal law, focusing on crimes relating to illegal drugs. Illicit drugs are substances that are illegal to possess, distribute or use without authority under state or federal law.
Common examples of illicit drugs include:
Possession of prescription medication such as Oxycontin and Vicodin without authority also violates criminal law.
With the exception of marijuana, the list of illicit, prohibited drugs under state and federal law is practically identical. Possession, sale and possession with intent to distribute or traffic illicit drugs is illegal under state and federal law. While most drug crimes are prosecuted in state court, federal prosecutors can step in and pick up a case. Federal law penalties for drug crimes are generally more severe and can involve life imprisonment. Drug crimes lawyers near you will be able to explain the state and federal laws that may apply to your case.
If you are under investigation or have been arrested, drug crimes attorneys near you can represent you in court and protect your rights. They are experts in this field and have extensive experience and knowledge in the time and process required to fight for the best possible outcome. A lawyer can gather evidence that supports a defendant in a drug crimes case. When the case goes to trial, charges may be reduced if your attorney can reveal weaknesses in the prosecutor’s evidence in proving the necessary elements for conviction.
An individual arrested for a drug crime may be charged with one or several of the following offenses:
The consequences of a criminal conviction for a drug crime can be severe, including significant fines, loss of employment, loss of child custody and imprisonment. Early legal representation can lead to the prevention of charges. It is vital to hire a drug crimes lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you have the best chance of a positive outcome in your case.
Many law firms have experienced attorneys, but it is crucial to choose the best drug crimes lawyer near you.
Here are four questions to ask when choosing a drug crimes attorney:
You may also want to consider how comfortable you feel speaking with the attorney as you will likely have to be very candid and open with them through the process of your case.
A drug crimes lawyer may charge by the hour or offer a flat fee for their service. Most experienced attorneys will quote a flat fee after reviewing your case. Total fees for hiring a drug crimes lawyer vary depending on the circumstances of your case but can range from hundreds of dollars to over $10,000 for cases that involve significant time in court.
The majority of drug crime attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation. Every law firm will have different fee arrangements. However, most firms offer a free consultation to assess the circumstances and issues of your case and provide advice on navigating the legal process. Take advantage of this time and ask questions to determine whether the attorney will be the right fit for your case and personality.
Drug crime cases are complex, and it is very challenging to determine the outcome of any possible charges without knowing the circumstances of the situation you are in. It is best to contact a drug crimes lawyer as soon as possible to assist in navigating the legal process and avoid charges being filed.
Under the law, you are not guilty until a jury delivers a guilty verdict in the courts. Even if you feel you committed the crime, there may be defenses available to fight charges and avoid a conviction. A drug crime attorney will examine your case and assess the best possible defenses.
Regardless of the type of drug crime charge, the prosecutor must prove the case against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney will explore all options of defense. This may include arguing that the prosecution holds insufficient evidence or that the evidence is inadmissible due to a violation of your constitutional rights. Suppose the evidence was obtained during an illegal police search violating your constitutional rights and privacy. In that case, that evidence is deemed inadmissible and the prosecution will not be able to use it to prove your crime.