Groups » Prepare Well for Criminal Defense Cases - Various Drug Charge Issues to Consider

Although drug charges are some of the most heard of crimes, they are not cut and dry issues. Annually the U.S. spends more than $51 billion in its War on Drugs. The complexity of this issue makes many cases challenging. There are many different factors related to these cases. These factors play a role in not only how charges are applied. They impact how clients are defended by their attorneys. Experienced drug crime attorneys can help you through this process. These are attorneys who have worked both with state and federal cases and understand the law.

According to the Drug Policy Alliance, there were 1.53 million arrests because of drug charges in 2011. Individuals charged with these crimes can experience a number of losses. Employers often avoid hiring workers convicted of drug crimes, whether possession or distribution. This is why avoiding conviction is so important. You must rely on your defense lawyer to launch a successful defense.

There are many drugs that are involved in these cases. Some of these are more popular than others and are more public. Here are some of the drugs that lead to criminal charges:

• Marijuana
• Cocaine
• Crack
• Meth

These crimes don't just involve illegal drugs. Prescription medications are sometimes a part of drug crime charges. Addressing the details of any drug case is essential to putting on a good defense. It matters whether the accused was selling, manufacturing or in possession of drugs. Of all of the arrests in 2011, only 18.2% were for the sale or manufacture of drugs.

Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

Just any type of lawyer will not do when you are facing criminal drug charges. You will definitely want to look for experience. This is essential when it comes to drug cases because of jurisdiction constraints. There are 51 distinct statutes, according to, that are related solely to the drug marijuana. A lawyer who has worked in drug cases is going to be very useful. This type of lawyer will also know best how to build a defense. The experience gained from actually representing someone charged with drug crimes is important.

Many clients will want to find out about the cases the lawyer has won. The internet is a good resource for this information. Visiting the potential law firm is one way to learn about a criminal lawyer. You may also find testimonials online by past clients. Considering both experience and successes is a way to decide on a lawyer. Choosing the right legal team is the best way to prepare for the future.

Understanding the Law

The laws in drug cases are very strict around the country. The penalties here can be quite strong. This is why securing your legal defense is paramount. There are a number of considerations when it comes to penalties for drugs in this state. It will matter whether you were in possession of drugs or if you were charged with distribution. These charges will be applied based upon these details:

• The amount
• Selling or distributing
• Weapons used
• Money on hand
• Sales evidence

These and other details can impact how someone is charged for drugs crimes. The amount of said drug in your possession will impact your charge. Possession, for instance, of less than 25 grams of marijuana in New York can result in only a fine. Lawyers have to look at these details when they are putting together a defense. The type of drug that was possessed will impact the defense, as well as, the state's laws. Cocaine, for example, is always going to lead to a felony charge in states like Colorado. Some counties in a particular state may be stricter than others.

Launching an Investigation

The Drug Policy Alliance states that there were more than 2 million people incarcerated in 2011 alone. Drug lawyers try to ensure that their clients are not among these people. A thorough investigation can be very helpful to the defense in a drug case. This investigation will go back to the original arrest. In some cases, the previous history of the accused will factor into this case. There are certain factors that can prove helpful in many of these cases. Those who were illegally searched or arrested have a good chance of avoiding charges.

An investigation is done to prove that charges are not founded. They also help lawyers to show why searches were illegal. Experienced criminal lawyers know how to apply investigation results to their defenses. Firms normally employ investigators to thoroughly look at what happened in the client's case. This information is critical to the entire defense process. Results here can be the difference between thrown out charges and a conviction.

Waging a Defense

The waging of a proper defense includes many factors. Evidence must be gathered and presented in a way that the client is defended. At the same time, it is important for a criminal lawyer to know the law. This is true with any individual drug crime case. The differences between possession and distribution are essential. Intent also factors into these cases, along with what can and cannot be proven. A client will depend upon the expertise of their legal team throughout this process.

The lawyer is expected to represent the client through arrest, arraignment and sentencing. Clients who have already been convicted may look for new representation to appeal. Criminal lawyers are often hired for the appellate process. During this trial, however, new evidence is not presented. The entire process is still about defending the client. The goal is to come up with the best possible legal result for the client. It is also to ensure that there is a positive outcome for the future.

Drug cases require focusing on the laws for individual states as it relates to charges. At the same time, federal laws will apply. There are mandatory minimums in sentencing when federal laws are broken. Defendants may even face fines up to $1000 and prison time. Criminal lawyers wage a defense aimed at free their clients or at least lessening the charges against them.

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