Why prompt and thorough investigation of drug crimes is essential. Kansas criminal lawyers explain.
Drug crimes typically involve charges of possession; cultivation or manufacture; sale or distribution; and conspiracy. Although probation is possible for some drug crimes, especially first offenses, drug crimes can carry some serious penalties. If you have been charged with a drug crime, you may be facing a jail or prison sentence, heavy fines, and forfeiture of your property. Many if not most drug crimes are felonies. A felony conviction can have far reaching consequences in other aspects of your life even after you serve your sentence and pay your fines.
If you have been charged with a drug offense, get an experienced Kansas criminal attorney involved in your case as soon as possible. It’s important to get a knowledgeable attorney involved early to investigate your case and access the strength of the prosecution’s evidence against you. A thorough investigation will determine the likelihood of suppressing key evidence because the police violated your rights. A thorough investigation will also enable your attorney to evaluate any plea offers from the prosecutor so that you can make an informed decision whether to accept a deal or go to trial.
Search and seizure issues
Drug cases often involve search and seizure issues. The prosecutor’s case is frequently built on evidence found after a search of your person, your vehicle, or other property. Attacks on the legality of the search can be based on deficiencies in the search warrant or arrest warrant or in the probable cause affidavits required to support the warrants. If the search was warrantless, the police may not have had sufficient justification for stopping and searching you or your vehicle. Or your alleged consent to the search may not have been voluntary. If your rights were violated, your Kansas criminal attorney can bring a motion in court to suppress the evidence. A successful suppression motion can lead to the dismissal of your case or an offer to plead to a less serious offense.
In drug cases, the prosecutor may offer you a reduced sentence if you agree to cooperate and testify against or inform on other drug suspects. These offers may not stay on the table long, especially if others were arrested with you, because the prosecutor often makes the same offer to your co-defendants. Once one accepts, the value of your cooperation is diminished and the offer may be withdrawn. Since accepting such offers can expose you to significant risk, you need to be as well informed as possible about the strength of the case against you before you make your decision.
Even if you are not offered an opportunity to cooperate or your turn it down, you need an honest assessment of your case from a qualified Kansas criminal defense attorney to help you decide whether to seek a plea deal or go to trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to negotiate the best possible plea and will make sure the prosecutor puts it in writing.
Information that is important to know about your case at the earliest possible time includes:
- What charges are being brought against you,
- How your arrest occurred,
- Whether an informant or undercover officer was involved,
- What were the circumstances of the search,
- Where were the drugs found,
- What quantity of drugs were found,
- What kind of drugs are involved,
- Whether the drugs were tested,
- How much money, if any, was confiscated,
- Whether any weapons were involved,
- Whether you made any statements to the authorities and if so, what you said,
- What your co-defendants have said; whether they are cooperating; and whether any have identified you as the owner, manufacturer, or seller of the drugs,
- Whether the authorities are interested in your cooperation.
Your defense attorney will attempt to obtain this information as soon as possible by talking with the arresting officer and prosecutor and obtaining and reviewing the arrest warrant and search warrant if one was issued and the supporting affidavits.
In addition, your defense attorney will visit the scene of the crime or arrest. Going to the scene enables your attorney to evaluate whether the government’s version of events is plausible. The attorney can determine whether government witnesses could have seen what they claim or whether their views were blocked. Sometimes people in the area will approach to find out what’s going on. This may lead to the discovery of previously unknown witnesses or provide the attorney with an opportunity to interview witnesses who have already given statements to police. These interviews sometimes yield new details or answers that contradict earlier statements.
Get help with your drug case
If you are facing drug charges, help is available from the Manhattan drug defense lawyers at Addair Thurston Chtd. If you would like to consult with one of our experienced Manhattan criminal defense attorneys, please call our toll-free number, or fill out the form on this page.
Addair Thurston Chtd.
Manhattan, Kansas drug defense lawyers
900 Poyntz Ave.
Manhattan, Kansas 66502
725 N. Washington Street
Junction City, Kansas 66441