In Kansas, you might face a fine of several hundreds of thousands if you’ve been caught with the intent to distribute drugs. Additionally, you’ll also go to jail for several years or even decades. Fortunately, a great attorney can help you to avoid such a harsh punishment. Make sure you hire someone who has the relevant qualifications and experience and who is well-respected in their community.
Finding a Great Drug Defense Lawyer Near Shawnee, KS
When you’re first charged with a drug crime, you may wonder whether it’s worth hiring a lawyer. Although you might feel that this is a substantial expense, it can make a big difference in your outcome and change the course of your life. Many people who have spent time in jail find it hard to return to normal life and find gainful employment, so it’s important that you use all the resources available to avoid this.
What’s more, many drug crime charges also involve a hefty fee, which can further complicate a return to normalcy. By hiring the best lawyer you can, you might be able to avoid charges completely or reduce them significantly. Let’s examine what you need to look out for when evaluating which attorney to choose.
Highly Qualified and Experienced Attorneys
The first aspect you should consider is the biography of potential lawyers in your area. Did they graduate from a reputable university, such as the University of Kansas School of Law? Have they been working in the local area for several years or even decades? This information should be available to you on the law firm’s website, and it will help you to evaluate whether a potential candidate might be a good fit.
You should also have a look at the lawyer’s areas of practice because you’ll need to work with someone who’s experienced in the field of drug crime. If you live in or near Olathe, you have access to some of the best drug crime attorneys in the country at Billam & Henderson. Not only has the firm been in operation since 2005, but both Jason Billam and Courtney Henderson have extensive experience working in drug defense.
A Good Reputation
Qualifications are crucial, but there are other criteria of equal importance, such as whether the lawyer in question is compassionate and good at communicating. To find out what kind of experience you’re likely to have, you should consult testimonials and reviews of past clients. You might be able to find some on the law firm’s website, or you can look online for independent reviews.
Great lawyers are not only respected by the people they’ve worked for but also by their peers. When looking at an attorney’s biography, check that they are involved with others in the legal field, both locally and nationally. They might be part of professional organizations, such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, or they might have won awards like the Top Lawyer designation by the Global Directory of Who’s Who.
What Will Your Attorney Do for You?
Once you’ve found a great lawyer, they will work with you to get your case thrown out or minimize your charges. When you come to Billam & Henderson, we will go through what happened in great detail to see whether there is a valid reason your case could be dismissed. For example, you might not be charged if you were stopped and searched illegally by the police.
Stopping a car without any cause isn’t allowed, so if you were pulled over without a good reason, the judge may agree to dismiss your charges. Similarly, the police aren’t allowed to search you unless they have a warrant, you give consent, or there are exigent circumstances. Your local Shawnee, KS drug defense lawyer can also check whether you were detained for an unreasonably long time and challenge this detention.
What Charges Can You Expect?
In Kansas, there are strict drug laws, and you can expect to spend several months in jail if you’re caught with drugs. The charges are much more severe if you were intending to sell or distribute the drugs, and in such a case, you might face a decade or more of incarceration. Additionally, you’ll have to pay a hefty fine of up to $500,000, depending on the quantity of the illegal substances you were caught with.
Marijuana Drug Charges
Marijuana has been legalized in some state, but not in Kansas. Here, you might be charged with 6 months in jail or a $1000 fine if you’re caught with less than 25 grams of this substance and it’s your first offense. However, you will be guilty of a level 4 felony drug charge if you were intending to distribute the marijuana, which might include a $300,000 fine as well as 14-51 months of imprisonment. This charge increases the more marijuana you have on you.
Other Drug Charges
The sentencing is even heavier for other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Even possessing these drugs is a felony, and you might have to pay $100,000 and spend up to 42 months in jail. Intent to distribute can increase this sentence to $500,000 and up to 144 months in jail.
You may also need to go through mandatory rehabilitation, and there could be a probation time. Because there are so many variables at play, the above figures are only estimates, and your sentence may vary according to your previous criminal record, where you were convicted, and the quantity of the drugs in your possession.
Consequences on Your Life
Needless to say, being charged with a drug crime can affect your life in a significant way. Although 10,000 prisoners are released in the US each day, the majority of them struggle to reintegrate into society because employers and citizens are biased against them. Many don’t find consistent or highly paid employment, and almost 44% of criminals return to jail within a year. For these reasons, hiring a competent attorney who can help you to avoid jail is crucial.
The possession of drugs is a serious offense, particularly if you were intending to distribute them. For this reason, you should hire a highly qualified and experienced drug defense lawyer local to the Shawnee, KS area. They will be familiar with all the rules and regulations related to the charges you’re currently facing. By using all the resources available to them, your attorney will either fight for a minimal sentence or aim to get your case thrown out.
Fortunately, it isn’t hard to find an excellent law firm. You can look at the lawyers’ biographies and reviews online to find out what they have achieved in the past. Once you’ve found someone who seems like a good fit, you should get in touch with them via the online contact form or over the phone. Give us a call at Billam & Henderson in Olathe, KS to book your initial consultation with Jason Billam or Courtney Henderson.