Though many people’s individual perspectives about drugs are shifting, laws are still incredibly strict regarding possessing, using, and selling drugs. Being charged with drug possession of any kind could negatively impact your life, making it difficult to find employment, secure a loan, sign a lease, or do many other things that are essential to living a normal, healthy life.
In Kansas, the punishments for drug offenses are particularly strict, with very little leniency in the laws surrounding possession. Being caught with drugs can seem like a hopeless situation, but there are many ways to fight drug charges so that they do not wreak havoc on your life. With an expert drug defense attorney from Billam & Henderson in Olathe, Kansas, your chances of reducing your sentencing or being acquitted are improved.
Defending Your Rights in a Drug Case
No matter what drug is found in your possession, the key to winning drug cases is acting quickly. Some deadlines occur very soon after the date of arrest, so there is no time to lose when it comes to finding your legal representation. From first-time marijuana possession to a repeat methamphetamine distribution, the courts have specific treatment programs and sentence presumptions that can put clients in a difficult position that makes it seem as if there is no option but to plead guilty. At Billam & Henderson, we can present you with several options that allow you the chance you deserve in your drug case. You do not have to plead guilty, and there are several situations in which diversion is appropriate or you may be acquitted through a motion to suppress or a trial, even if the odds seem stacked against you.
How Billam & Henderson Fights Drug Case Charges
Though it is perfectly reasonable to fight for your innocence, we must begin by scouring your case for every detail we can find. Our legal team is nothing short of exhaustive when it comes to understanding your case, and we will work with you to sift through what happened moment by moment. Even if you were in possession of illegal substances, there are ways to suppress a case. If this applies to your situation, our attorneys will begin to examine your case for the following violations of your rights during the arrest or search process:
- Illegal traffic stops: Police officers cannot pull cars over without cause. The officer in question must have reasonable suspicion of illegal activity to pull you over legally. Even if drugs were discovered during this stop, the charges may be dismissed if the stop was illegal.
- Unreasonable detention: Police officers are only allowed to detain you for a reasonable amount of time if they suspect something is amiss. They are not allowed to hold you longer than it takes to follow protocol, and if they do not find anything or hold you for too long, the detention could be challenged.
- Non-consensual search: If the police do not have a warrant or exigent circumstances to search your car or home, you must voluntarily give them consent to do so. If you do not consent, or if the officer coerced, pressured, or intimidated you into allowing the search, their actions are illegal, and findings may be suppressed.
These and other rights violations may be cause to have your case dismissed by the courts. Even if you are guilty of a crime, you are entitled to basic privacy and treatment by police and other officials. If this is not given to you, you may have a strong defense case against your charges.
Criminal Consequences of Marijuana Drug Charges
Not all drugs are created equal. When it comes to drugs, marijuana is the most commonly used in the United States. Though marijuana has been legalized recreationally in some states, it is still illegal in all forms in Kansas. The only marijuana products allowed by law are CBD products containing 0% THC. Any other marijuana product or derivative is cause for penalty and/or a fine. Without intent to distribute and less than 25 grams, marijuana charges generally count as a misdemeanor and call for up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 without a prior marijuana conviction. If there is intent to distribute, or if the arresting officer believes that you had the intent to distribute, the charges become much more severe. Though all cases are different, in general, you can expect the following punishments based on the amount found in your possession presuming distribution or intent to distribute:
- Less than 25 grams: A level 4 felony drug charge with a fine of up to $300,000, incarceration ranging from 14-51 months in prison.
- 25 grams-449 grams: A level 3 felony drug charge with a fine of up to $300,000, incarceration ranging from 46-83 months in prison.
- 450 grams-30 kilograms: A level 2 felony drug charge with a fine of up to $500,000, incarceration ranging from 92-204 months in prison.
- More than 30 kilograms: A level 1 felony drug charge with a fine of up to $500,000, incarceration ranging from 138-201 months in prison.
These are simply estimates. Individual sentencing will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case, your prior criminal record, and the assistance of your drug crime attorney. At Billam & Henderson, we have the record and reputation for fighting charges ruthlessly and will give you a chance of avoiding maximum sentencing and jail time.
Criminal Consequences of Other Drug Charges
Because of marijuana’s popularity and expanding cultural acceptance, the sentencing is much lighter than other drugs. With substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin, the charge begins as a felony. These hard drugs have strict punishment for possession. Still, they grow in severity when there is distribution, or the arresting officer believes that you have intent to distribute. All cases are different, and there are many factors at play, such as your record, location, and quantity of the drug in question. Here is a very general outline of what you could expect for hard drug charges:
- Possession of meth, cocaine, or heroin: A level 5 drug felony with a maximum fine of up to $100,000 and a possible sentence range of 10-42 months in prison. Probation can be up to 18 months and include mandatory drug treatment.
- Distribute or intent to distribute 1-3.5 grams of meth, 3.5-100 grams of cocaine, or 1-3.5 grams of heroin: A level 3 drug felony with a maximum fine of $300,000 and a possible sentence range of 46-83 months in prison. If probation were granted, it would be up to 36 months. Registration as a drug offender may apply if convicted.
- Distribute or intent to distribute 3.5 – 100 grams of meth, 100 grams to 1 kilogram of cocaine, or 3.5 – 100 grams of heroin: A level 2 drug felony with a maximum fine of $500,000 and a possible sentence range of 92-144 months in prison. If probation were granted, it would be up to 36 months. Registration as a drug offender may apply if convicted.
As you can see, you do not need to be in possession of very much of any of these drugs to face severe punishment. An experienced drug crime lawyer will be able to examine your case for details that may discredit the investigation or the case against you.
Intent to Distribute Charges
For many drug cases, the prosecution relies on your “intent to distribute” which can increase fines and jail time. Without knowing what a person was thinking, it is hard for police to prove intent to distribute. Often, charges are based solely on the quantity of drugs in your possession. If the amount seems too large for one person to consume, charges will often be increased to include “intent to sell.” The expert attorneys at Billam & Henderson fight drug charges in the Kansas City area using this practice against prosecutors. There are no set criteria for proving that a person intends to sell drugs, and this argument is used far too frequently when there is no due cause. In many cases, the charges can be minimized to possession if:
- Your attorney can prove that the drugs were for personal use only and not to others. You did not have any paraphernalia indicating distribution such scales, text messages, cash, or a logbook of transaction may indicate the drugs are for personal use rather than for distribution.
- Your attorney can create a reasonable doubt that you were aware of the drugs. If there is any indication that the drugs were not yours, that you did not know the drugs were in your trunk, etc., your charges may be reduced or acquitted at trial.
These arguments may seem implausible when presented in the abstract, but when applied to cases, they can be effective in your defense. There are laws and regulations to protect innocent people from serving time for crimes they did not commit, and when accurately applied, these laws can relieve some of the punishment from drug cases.
Non-Criminal Consequences of Drug Charges
Many people do not consider that the charges they face during drug cases may lead to consequences outside of fines and jail time. Many people with drug charges have their licenses revoked or suspended, sometimes indefinitely. Even if you were not on drugs while driving or were acquitted, drug charges may affect your insurance premiums.
With drug charges on your record, it will likely be difficult to find suitable employment. Many have a hard time securing stable living situations, and many lose their children to the foster care system. It may even be difficult to do things like get a loan or get an education. These charges have far-reaching consequences that truly decimate a person’s entire life, which is why we work so tirelessly on your case. At Billam & Henderson, we know that our attention to detail could be the reason that our clients can meet their family’s most basic needs going forward. We believe that every Kansas citizen, from Overland Park, KS, to Lenexa, KS, deserves a chance to seek justice.
Minimizing the Impact of Civil Proceedings
For the government, sometimes jail or prison time is not enough. Civil forfeiture proceedings are independent of the criminal case. Unfortunately, in these situations, guilt is not the only factor at play. Your innocence cannot protect you from civil proceedings, and unfortunately, the consequences are severe and invasive. In many cases, the government will take action to seize your personal property, including vehicles, cell phones, and cash, which may be connected to the alleged crime. Even if you are found not guilty of drug charges in criminal court, you could still lose the forfeiture actions against you in civil court.
Hiring an attorney that understands the fallout after a criminal case is crucial to your future survival. Because the government has such overreaching power to claim your possessions, the process can easily leave you with nothing. Do not wait to hire an expert attorney to represent you in all criminal proceedings. It may prevent your arrest from decimating your life.
Why Choose Billam & Henderson As Your Drug Charge Defense Lawyers?
To have a chance at reducing or eliminating your drug charges, you need the help of a truly knowledgeable drug defense lawyer. Attention to detail is crucial to your defense case.
At Billam & Henderson, our attorneys have the skills, experience, and knowledge to help you. Our past cases allow us to approach yours with a comprehensive understanding of Kansas law, giving you the benefit of that knowledge. Our experience also covers a wide range of drug cases. We have represented clients charged with drug possession, sale of illegal substances, and the manufacturing or growing of illegal substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.
Our attorneys are ranked in the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and our firm boasts an Avvo Rating of 10.0. Local to Olathe, Kansas, we know the intricacies of municipal and state laws and can expertly use them in your favor. We have succeeded in minimizing incarceration time or providing clients with the opportunity to enter treatment or diversion programs if eligible and operate on a firm belief that a charge does not mean automatic guilt. Every defendant deserves expert representation, and we at Billam & Henderson are here to help.
Kansas Drug Defense Lawyer Near Me
Contact the criminal defense lawyers at Billam & Henderson, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately if you face drug charges. The sooner you act, the sooner we can begin helping you during this difficult time. Fill out our online intake form or call our office in Olathe, KS, at (913) 782-4030.