Let’s Talk About Drugs
In this day in age, many people suffer from drug addiction. Many more use drugs recreationally. Unfortunately, the Federal Government and State of Minnesota punish drug offenses more harshly than many other crimes. Just being caught with a trace amount of a controlled substance can land you in jail; marijuana vape pens can lead to felony charges.
Whether it’s .05 grams of meth, a line of coke, or a bag of pills, being charged with a drug crime is serious business. The State has severe prison sentences for possession, sale and manufacture of illegal substances. Law enforcement agencies often work undercover to try and catch users with drugs.
In addition to stiff prison sentences, you could also lose your driver’s license, or have your money or property forfeited by the Government if you are found to have drugs in your car or home. In federal court, the punishment is even more severe, with some drug possession and distribution crimes carrying 5, 10, or 15 year mandatory minimum sentences.
Drug crimes usually come in four general flavors:
Possession: the cops find drugs on you or in your stuff
Distribution/sale: you’re busted moving or selling drugs
Manufacture: you’re busted making/growing drugs
What you are charged with depends on your individual circumstances. How did the cops discover the drugs? What was the quantity of the drugs? What kind of drugs were they? Have you been in trouble for drugs before? Do you have a felony record? In general, the more drugs they find, the higher the charges will be, and thus the higher the penalty. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that for low level charges, there are many Drug Court, diversion, and other programs to keep drug offenses off your record, keep you out of custody, and/or help you get treatment. Also, because most drug charges stem from the action of law enforcement through traffic stops or search warrants, you always have the right to challenge the way that the Government obtained the evidence against you.
You have a Constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. If a judge determines that the way the cops found the drugs in your case violated your rights, the case could be dismissed.
Catherine has years of experience cross examining law enforcement agents in evidentiary hearings and trials. She has written thousands of pages of legal briefs in support of dismissal motions. She has helped drug offenders stay out of prison, get the treatment they need, and even had charges dismissed. There are many evidentiary issues that can be contested in a drug case, and law enforcement agencies often make mistakes in their police work while gathering evidence.
Catherine is an experienced criminal defense lawyer that defends against charges involving Drug Manufacture, Possession, Sale, or Distribution. If you or a loved one have been accused of controlled substance/drug offenses, she can help. Call today for a free consultation.