Drug Possession Charge – How to Beat It
If you have been arrested for drug possession, use, or sales in Arizona, you may have an uphill battle when you attempt to beat the charge. Drug crime charges are very serious matters in Arizona. However, it is still possible to build a strong defense case and win.
There are many factors that will contribute to winning your drug possession case. One thing you’ll want to do is document all of the events as soon as possible after they occur. We humans are very bad at factually remembering events as more time passes. Our memory gets clouded, and we tend to remember them more subjectively.
Here’s an example – consider the last time you got into an argument with someone and then discussing it afterward. You and the other person probably remembered the events much differently, especially in regard to what was said, right? You remembered things the other person said more clearly than what you said. However, the next day or the day after passes and then the entire event is likely to be completely foggy and you likely won’t remember any of the specific facts. You might not even remember getting into the argument!
That’s why it’s so important to document all of the facts as quickly as possible after the event. Take the notes on your phone or get paper and pen or pencil. You must take these notes – don’t skip this step – seriously. If you put your notes on paper, take a picture of it with your phone so you have another copy.
IMPORTANT TIP: To document these things on your phone, send yourself an email with all of the facts. This way you’ll have a documented record of your memories in regards to the drug charge events, and if your phone gets lost, stolen, or confiscated you’ll still be able to access your email on another device. Not only that but you’ll also be able to forward that email to your attorney! Lastly, you can reply to that email back to yourself if you find that you missed anything in the original email.
When you’re documenting the events, put down everything that occurred that you’re knowledgeable about. What you did, what others did, and how all of the events tie in together and eventually led up to the police becoming involved. Notating them will not only relieve you from having to wrack your brain trying to remember these things later, but as you’re notating events, other pieces of what happened could come back to you that you most likely would not have remembered otherwise.
Now, when the police arrived, what happened then? These are some ideas that could help your case so keep these questions in mind while you’re notating the events surrounding the drug charge arrest:
Did the Police Overstep Their Boundaries?
This is more of a legal question because the average person probably isn’t aware of what the police can and cannot legally do. For example, if you get arrested for a drug charge or any other crime, you are not required to answer their questions except for basic identifying information such as your name and address. Those you must answer. But anything related to any crime you should ask to speak to your attorney first unless you’re absolutely innocent and you’re absolutely sure you aren’t facing a Phoenix or Arizona arrest.
Were You Aware of the Drugs?
For example, say you were driving a car that you own, and your friend or relative decided to stash some illegal drugs away without your knowledge. If you were pulled over and a police dog found those drugs, it is obvious that you would be held accountable for them. But the police don’t know the whole story and many times they won’t care. Their job is to enforce the law, not be the judge and jury. That’s why we have a court of law to decide those things. But if you’re a drug charge suspect and they have reasonable cause, you will end up being arrested and you will need to prepare to defend yourself, no matter what the circumstances.
There are a number of defenses that could apply to your situation. Below we discuss a few of them.
For you to be found guilty of a possession charge, there must be evidence that you knew that the items found were drugs and/or paraphernalia. So if you did not know about the drugs, your drug possessions charge attorney will build his or her case around that fact.
Did the Police Observe the Correct Legal Procedures During the Drug Charge Arrest?
The Miranda warning which was decided in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Miranda v. Arizona decision, requires that an officer must make a person aware of certain facts prior to questioning him or her during an arrest. It must be conveyed prior to an interrogation that:
“You have the right to remain silent.
If you do say anything, it can be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.”
If your Miranda rights were violated in any way, your charges may not hold up in a court of law. You’re still going to want a criminal lawyer to help you though because they will know exactly what to say and how to say it. Without an attorney, your case has a lesser chance of being successful due to your lack of legal and courtroom knowledge.
Was a Search Warrant Provided?
Remember that police or other law enforcement officers must have a warrant to enter into your home or business. This is crucial as for many drug cases, evidence of drugs and/or paraphernalia is found as the result of a search. Demand to see the warrant prior to entry. If they have a search warrant, you cannot stop them from entering and searching your home or business.
Do not answer any questions. You have the right to request an attorney prior to answering any law enforcement questions. If the search is conducted in an improper manner, or in a way that violates your constitutional rights, then certain evidence may be prohibited from being admitted into evidence at a drug crime hearing or trial. This can result in the prosecution being unable to proceed with its case.
I Was Arrested For a Drug Crime. Who Do I Turn To?
This is going to sound self-serving because this is a criminal lawyer’s website, after all. But everything pointed out to you in this article is absolute truth. You will need a very good criminal lawyer who’s experienced with drug possession charges. You really should not just go with a public defender. Public defenders usually have entirely too many cases, only get paid to be there 9-5 and only work those hours just like it’s a job.
Your case is really not that important to a public defender, even though they may say it is. They will not be accessible to you, possibly not returning calls for many days or even weeks mostly because they’re just entirely too busy. You also may not feel like you were represented in a fair manner if they’re so busy they either don’t or can’t come up with a great defense, nor will they potentially have the time to prepare a strong enough case to defend you properly.
The public defender’s job is to do the best they can with the caseload they have and to make you feel like they can properly defend you. But their time is still very scarce, and there could very well be an inability to spend the proper time on your case. Therefore, you may end up with a punishment that is far harsher with a public defender than if you’d hired a criminal lawyer that could properly represent you.
How to Hire a Great Criminal Defense Attorney
The first thing you should do if you have been accused of a drug possession charge or any other drug charge is to contact a criminal defense attorney. Those types of lawyers usually provide for a free consultation. Be sure to go to one where you don’t have to pay for that. In case things don’t work out, you won’t have any out of pocket expenses. The attorney should only consider taking your case if he or she feels there is a strong chance of beating the charge if you’re innocent or a due process procedure was violated, or at least lessening the consequential punishments such as prison or jail time, or fines.
During the consultation the attorney will ask you questions about what happened. Be sure to answer all of the questions to your best ability and be 100% honest with your answers. Due to client/attorney privilege and generally speaking, the attorney cannot tell anyone what you told them if it happened in the past. The attorney will then be able to review the specifics of your case and help build your best defense.
During the initial free consultation, not only will the attorney be vetting your case out, but you should be vetting him out as well! You must feel comfortable working with your attorney. If you don’t get a good feeling about the attorney, you honestly shouldn’t work with them. But if you get a good feeling about them and you’re confident they can help, then you should definitely place your bets with them. Your best chances of beating your drug possession charges or any other felony charge is with an experienced criminal lawyer that will build the strongest case possible and go to bat for you in the courtroom.
What it’s Like to Work With Ferragut Law Firm
The Ferragut Law Firm is a top rated drug crime attorney Phoenix Arizona. We’re dedicated exclusively to the practice of criminal law in all state, federal, and city courts throughout the State of Arizona and have successfully helped defend hundreds of drug cases in Arizona.
Your drug crime case is of utmost importance to us. You’ll get the best results possible through our experience, hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive advocacy. You will be treated as you should be and will never be talked down to or made to feel badly for any reason because we maintain the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards always.
Your case will be represented personally by Ulises Ferragut, and will never be represented by a less-experienced junior lawyer.
Your legal rights will be protected and advocated for over the course of your case by Mr. Ferragut. He and the entire firm is committed to providing the most aggressive, professional, and effective representation for the accused crimes. Feel free to contact us to discuss the details of your case in a no-cost consultation.