5 Reasons Why Drug Defendants Need Attorneys
In a perfect world, it is reasonable to assume that most people would not choose to use or sell drugs. Unfortunately, there are a wide variety of social and economic factors that play into things.
Additionally, there have been strong recent disagreements with current laws regarding the criminalization of drugs such as marijuana. Because of this complexity, many people find themselves facing drug charges for a variety of reasons.
If you’re facing drug charges, it may not be the best idea to navigate this terrain alone. Here are 5 reasons you should consider a defense attorney.
1. An attorney knows your rights inside and out.
Most California residents are aware of a few basic rights (the Miranda rights), but few are familiar with all the rights involved with being arrested on drug charges. If your rights have been abused and/or local authorities have failed to observe protocol, you may not be able to tell or make an argument on your own.
2. A lawyer knows what the prosecution needs to do in court, and can anticipate their moves.
Similar to his or her knowledge of your rights and appropriate police protocols, a trained attorney is very familiar with drug court proceedings and knows the burden of the prosecution. For example, you may not have considered that the prosecution should be able to produce the drugs in question in the courtroom. A lawyer can make sure that any missing evidence is called out, and can predict to some degree how the prosecution will act. This kind of experienced knowledge is a huge asset when trying to build your defense.
3. You may be too emotionally compromised to defend yourself.
Many people assume that they will be best able to represent themselves, as they were present during the event. Unfortunately, the emotional and mental whirlwind of fighting drug charges can be overwhelming. In fact, the stress of going in without a lawyer could pressure you to simply give up and accept the charges. Don’t let emotions get the better of you!
4. If you’re not familiar with California drug laws, you could hurt your own case.
State drug laws are very specific across different “schedules” (or types) of drugs. Depending on the type and amount of drugs and the related activity, various statutes govern the punishment of crimes. Additionally, laws don’t always stay the same; as recently as November 2014, an initiative known as Proposition 47 lowered certain drug-related offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Although this may seem like good news, the lesson here is that the law is constantly changing. It’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney at your side to make sure all current laws are considered.
Not only can an attorney get ahold of paperwork you might not even be aware of (like police reports), he or she can also help you with any paperwork that may need to be filed on your end. Let’s face it: completing forms is frustrating enough when it’s your taxes–imagine how much more frustrating it can be when you’re trying to keep it together and fight for your rights.
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