Although drugs are being decriminalized all over the world, it is critical to remain silent and consult an experienced attorney if you are ever arrested for drugs. Let’s consider the top 4 reasons to hire an attorney below:
1: Drug Laws Are Arbitrary
What is perfectly legal in one jurisdiction may incur the highest penalties in another. Due to the technical nature of drug offenses, you need an experienced attorney who has thoroughly researched the nuances of the law.
Many new cases turn on the probable cause to search a vehicle or home. In some cases, the officer has overstepped his authority by looking for pretextual excuses to conduct a search that has nothing to do with the original reason they pulled you over.
Historically, Texas, Louisiana, and Virginia were among the worst for drug offenders. In one famous case, a Louisiana judge sentenced someone to life for selling just $30 worth of marijuana.
This case exemplifies how habitual offender laws can be triggered by even meager conduct. Knowing how to defend against sentencing schemes that push the punishment too far is a complex matter that takes skilled counsel to develop.
2: Rapport with Judges and Prosecutors
It is difficult for people who represent themselves to sway the courts because they don’t have a rapport with the other members of the court. Rapport is something that has been built up over the years. Attorneys do their best to ensure that their presentations to the court are reliable and accurate so that judges may trust their analyses and agree.
The laws are quite complex in the United States because the statutes are qualified by numerous judicial opinions that complicate how the statutes apply to a particular case. It is simply not practical to expect that anyone other than an experienced attorney will know all the ins and outs to persuade the court in your favor.
3: Assembly Line Justice
If you rely on the court to appoint counsel, you will likely suffer severely for that choice. Public defenders usually represent the worst of the worst offenders who are constantly in and out of jail and cannot afford to hire an attorney of their own. The public defenders also bear massive caseloads that prevent them from reasonably paying much attention to the details of your case.
Many have criticized the public defender system as assembly line justice. Everyone simply plays their mechanical part in convicting you and incarcerating you with little attention to detail because of the high volume.
Even if you are caught red-handed with illicit drugs, there are numerous ways for a skilled attorney to mitigate the punishment. In some cases, the defendant was prescribed a legal prescription at some point and only later turned to illicit street drugs after becoming addicted. Whether the drugs were for personal use or part of a drug trafficking operation may also be key points to highlight.
And even when there is evidence of drug trafficking, the question may turn on who the prime movers were in the operation. A lot of cases are prosecuted without any actual seizure of drugs by basing the case solely on the testimony of cooperating witnesses. It is critical to hire an experienced attorney because they may be able to investigate ulterior motives and discredit the witnesses.