Being arrested for a drug offense can put you in a difficult situation. Penalties for drug-related crimes are generally more severe than other offenses – even a possession misdemeanor has harsher sentencing than some other misdemeanors. This is one of many reasons why you may want to hire a drug crime attorney in Johnson County, KS if you are facing charges of a drug-related offense.
4 Reasons You Should Hire an Experienced Drug Crime Attorney in Johnson County, KS
The penalties allotted for drug-related crimes are not typically federal, which means that each state sets its own punishments for crimes related to possession, use, or the sale of drugs. In Kansas, the sentencing penalties for drug-related offenses are more strict than in other states. Some reasons to hiring a drug crime lawyer include:
1. Minimize Negative Impact On Your Life
A drug charge on your record can make a huge negative impact on your life. Whether you’ve been charged with minor possession or your charge is related to the distribution of drugs, you can be sure that these charges will have an extreme effect on your ability to lead a normal life after you serve your time or pay your fine.
For example, people who are charged with drug-related offenses may find it difficult to find gainful employment, even in careers that they are highly qualified for. Because of a criminal record, you may have trouble qualifying for certain loans, you may not be able to sign a lease to rent an apartment, and in Kansas, you may lose your right to vote, even if you’re out of prison but still on probation or parole.
2. Reduce Your Sentencing
The main goal of your attorney is to reduce your sentencing or even have an acquittal approved for your charge. By reducing your sentencing, you will be able to avoid higher fines and longer imprisonment. This can help you minimize the overall impact on your life, particularly in terms of finances and your ability to live independently.
Of course, depending on your charge, you may have the possibility of acquittal, which means that the charge will be dropped and will not be found on your record. This is the ideal goal for many attorneys since it will eliminate any negative impact on the client’s life. However, being acquitted for a drug crime in Kansas is very difficult and requires the right legal strategy, such as evidence of your rights being violated during your arrest.
3. Build Your Legal Strategy
A drug-related offense can be difficult to fight in the courts, but it is possible to use certain strategies to reduce your sentencing or dismiss your case. You will need an expert legal team to help you build a legal strategy based on factual evidence of how your rights as an individual were violated by the police during your arrest.
Your legal team will go over every moment and every document related to your arrest to determine if your rights were violated at any time. If there is evidence that the police violated your rights or behaved against the law, then your case can be dismissed by a judge. Some common strategies for proving violations during an arrest include:
Illegal Traffic Stop
When the police pull someone over, they have to have a genuine reason. It’s illegal for police to pull someone over without cause, which means that the police have to prove you violated a traffic law or there was another reasonable suspicion of illegal activity that motivated the officer to pull you over.
Erratic driving, speeding, and basic traffic violations are all acceptable reasons to pull someone over. However, if you were pulled over for an unofficial reason, such as being racially profiled, then your charges can be dismissed since the police officer did not have a lawful reason to stop your vehicle.
The police require either specific circumstances (such as a suspected crime) or a warrant to search your car or your home. Without either of these factors, it is illegal for the police to search your car or home to uncover evidence unless you give them verbal permission or consent to do so. If your belongings are searched without your consent or a warrant during arrest, it’s possible to dismiss your case based on the fact that the police illegally uncovered evidence.
Non-consensual search can be applied to many situations. For example, if you were pulled over without violating a traffic law and the police searched your vehicle without any reasonable suspicion of a crime, then their findings during that search can be thrown out. You can also use this strategy if the police pressured or intimidated you into allowing the search, such as with the threat of violence.
Even if you are arrested on suspicion of a crime or taken into police custody, the police cannot detain you indefinitely. The police typically only have up to 72 hours to detain you without charges, even if they suspect you have committed a crime. If the police cannot find evidence of a crime within that timeframe, then they are legally obligated to release you.
If you can prove that the police detained you for an unreasonable time, then the detention can be challenged. If detention is successfully challenged, then it’s possible to challenge other aspects of your case based on police misconduct.
By law, the police must read your Miranda rights and allow you to contact legal representation if you are taken into custody. If your rights are not read to you at the time of your arrest, then you may be able to challenge your charges. Likewise, if the police prevent you from contacting a lawyer while you are detained, then you may be able to have your charges dismissed.
4. Prove Drug Possession for Personal Use
Unfortunately, much of the time people are charged with intent to distribute when they are arrested for drug possession. However, intent to distribute suggests that you plan to sell the drugs in your possession and this may not be the case. Usually, the charge for intent to distribute is based on the quantity of drugs in your possession at the time of your arrest.
While it may seem difficult to prove that your drug possession was only for personal use, your attorney will be able to use strategies to prove your innocence for that charge. Eliminating intent to distribute charges is especially important when you consider that these charges often elevate your penalties. Some strategies to a drug crime attorney may use to reduce or eliminate distribution charges include:
- There is no proof you planned to sell the drugs
- There is no proof you were aware of the drugs
Facing a drug charge in Kansas can mean stiff penalties since the punishment for drug-related offenses is much stricter in Kansas than in many other states. However, expert representation from an experienced lawyer can reduce or even dismiss your charges so you can minimize the negative impact on your life. For more information about why hiring an experienced drug crime attorney is your best option in Johnson County, KS, contact Billam & Henderson in Olathe, KS today.