There’s probably nothing more frightening than facing criminal charges. If you were arrested or are currently under investigation for a drug-related offense, you don’t want to take a passive approach and watch what happens. The single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself is secure a private criminal defense attorney immediately.
Drug charges encompass a variety of drug-related offense: possession, distribution and trafficking, sale, importation, exportation, transportation, cultivation, manufacturing and prescription drug offenses. They also include school zone and park penalties. How you are charged will vary depending on what type of drug was involved and what you intended to do with it. For example, having a small amount of marijuana in your possession for personal use would involve much lighter penalties than if you were cultivating two dozen pot plants inside your basement.
In many cases possession may be the least serious of drug offenses; however, depending on the type of drug and the amount you can be facing felony consequences. When one is caught with large amounts of drugs, it is automatically assumed they are intended for distribution or trafficking – which is a very serious drug charge. If the drugs were found near a park or school grounds – you may face enhanced penalties if you are charged with possession with the intent to sell. Whenever law enforcement suspects a person might be selling drugs to school aged children or minors, they seek greater punishments for the accused.
A mere possession conviction can incur jail or prison sentencing, monetary fines, mandatory rehabilitation and a permanent criminal record. This could all happen – even if you kept the drugs for your own personal use. Simple recreational use can lead to criminal consequences if you get caught. If you do wind up in the situation where you are arrested on a drug-related charge – the best thing you can do is exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t use loud or offensive language or resist arrest, because no matter what you say; they are going to arrest you. Keep in mind that anything you say can and will be used against you. You don’t want law enforcement to tack on resisting arrest charges when you are already being charged with a drug-related offense.
Do keep in mind that an arrest is not a conviction. You could have been unlawfully arrested – this is especially common when law enforcement violates your search and seizure rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In fact, if there were any procedural errors – your Boston criminal defense attorney may have grounds to file a motion to suppress evidence. Such violations, when revealed by your lawyer, can invalidate their entire case against you.
For first time offenders – they may be eligible for what is called a pre-trial diversion program. Such programs would be a great advantage to you because they can result in sentence reductions or even get them dropped entirely. Contacting a criminal defense lawyer will be the most beneficial action you can take to protect your legal rights. Having the right attorney on your side can make or break your case; therefore, you don’t want to take any chances.