Defense attorneys have an important job. Since no two drug crime cases are exactly the same, an experienced defense attorney knows that it's critical to look at every aspect of a drug case in order to craft a solid defense strategy.
Here are some of the things that a defense attorney can do for you if you've been charged with drug trafficking:
Determine if you have been overcharged
Prosecutors sometimes overreach when they file drug charges. For example, a simple possession case gets escalated to a drug trafficking charge based on very thin (or nonexistent) evidence. An experienced defense attorney can often help get charges reduced or dismissed by spotting weaknesses in the prosecution's case.
Challenge the facts of the case against you
In order to convict you of drug trafficking instead of possession, the prosecution has to prove a number of different elements of the crime. Part of your defense attorney's job is to challenge the evidence of each of those elements such as:
- How can the prosecution prove that the drugs were actually yours?
- What evidence is there that you were going to sell the drugs rather than use them yourself?
- If you're accused in federal court, what's the evidence that you crossed state lines with the drugs or were involved in a multi-state operation?
Help you understand the choices you have
Defense attorneys also help their clients understand the choices they have to make. The judicial process can be very complicated and it's hard to understand what kind of outcome you may have without experienced counsel. For example, your defense attorney can help you understand the consequences of going to trial versus taking a plea deal.
Negotiate a better sentence
Finally, your defense attorney can often help you negotiate a better sentence if you decide to plead guilty. There may be mitigating factors or weaknesses in the case against you that your attorney knows how to leverage against the prosecution's desire for a quick conviction that will be to your benefit.
These are just a few of the things that an experienced defense attorney may be able to do when you've been charged with drug trafficking. If you or a loved one is facing drug charges, it's important to understand all of your rights and options.