Drug Crime Offenses and Charges

If you’ve been charged with drug crimes, or have come under investigation for them, hiring a criminal lawyer should be the first thing you do. Many people discount how important it is to have effective legal representation – often at the expense of their freedom. With the money and resources that are available to the prosecution, it’s essential that you have the right person on your side.

There are situations where your best option is taking a plea bargain, and there are times when it’s best to take your case to trial. Be aware that public defenders or less experienced attorneys are more likely to want to get your case taken care of as quickly as possible and are likely to push you into taking a plea bargain. A devoted and experienced attorney, on the other hand, will be in a better position to weigh the pros and cons of your options and help you make the right choice.

It’s also important to realize that drug charges can be confusing. Often when a person is charged with drug related offenses, there will be many different charges against them. Understanding the difference between possession, possession with intent and drug trafficking shouldn’t be up to you. Choose a criminal lawyer who understands the nuances involved in the various charges and who can help to reduce them, have them dismissed or win a case in front of a jury.

In some cases, a judge will be willing to consider alternatives to prosecution and imprisonment, such as a drug rehabilitation program. You might be eligible for a program that can keep you out of jail and keep a conviction off your record. When you choose a lawyer who’s skilled at drug criminal defense, they’ll know every option that’s available and can help you to find a way to get out of a sticky situation.

Another thing to keep in mind is that being an effective criminal lawyer requires a deep understanding of human nature. Whether your attorney is trying to sway a judge, the jury or the prosecution, a skilled lawyer will know the best ways in which to present evidence and how to make a strong case for your criminal defense. They’ll also know how to handle delicate situations that are sometimes uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Finally, it’s important to realize that you need to have an attorney on your side with whom you feel comfortable discussing your case. Too often the accused will end up with an attorney who judges them, doesn’t listen to the specifics of their case, or otherwise makes them feel less than confident in and comfortable with their criminal defense. It’s essential that you’re sharing all relevant information with your attorney, so be sure you choose someone you feel comfortable confiding in.

The bottom line when it comes to choosing an attorney is that you need to have experience on your side. Choose an attorney who’s dealt with similar cases in the past, and has had positive results.

Drug Rehab vs Drug Crime – The Choice Is Obvious, But It Isn’t Easy

Teenagers busted for possession, adults busted for trafficking, cops busted for stealing drugs from evidence lockers – every day of the week there are dozens of news stories about drug-related crime. A few of the crimes are purely for money, but most are crimes to support drug habits – arrests, fines, jail terms and ongoing addictions that could be avoided if someone helped these people decide to get into drug rehab instead.

Here’s a little tour of the country, a smattering from a single day’s news. It’s disturbing to see that most of today’s drug crime stories concern the deadly and addictive opiate prescription painkiller OxyContin:

Olympia, WA: A 40-year-old friend of the family supplied their 16-year-old daughter with OxyContin and Vicodin pills to consume herself and sell at school and split the profits with him. Contributing to a teenager’s – or anyone’s – opiate addiction should be a crime in itself. Her life could have been changed forever, even with drug rehab.

Austin, MN: An Austin police officer who was about to take the oath of office for the Austin School Board is instead facing felony charges for allegedly stealing OxyContin from the police evidence locker. The second-ranking officer on the force, he stole the drugs the same day he was elected to the school board. If convicted of a felony, he’ll lose his job, his school board seat, and his life will be in ruins. Drug rehab could help him to begin recovering his life as he knew it.

Anderson Township, OH: A man walked into a Walgreens pharmacy and after announcing he had a gun, walked out with 90 OxyContin pills. Cops think it’s the same guy who pulled a similar OxyContin heist at a CVS pharmacy in nearby Springdale on New Year’s Eve. The manhunt continues, but this guy is going to need drug rehab if he lives long enough. OxyContin can be a deadly addiction.

Yarmouth, MA: A man high on heroin led police on a high speed chase through four towns before being arrested by Yarmouth police. The cops had to put down Stop Sticks – those mats with spikes to puncture tires – to stop him. But then he fled on foot, and had to be chased down before finally being arrested. Drugs make people do stupid, crazy and dangerous things. This man is definitely a candidate for drug rehab.

Poughkeepsie, NY: A 39-year-old man faces 18 months in jail for selling heroin to an undercover policeman – a felony conviction. How dumb can you get? Under state law, this guy faced a lengthy mandatory prison term because he had already been convicted of another felony within the last 10 years. He entered a plea of guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. If this person has a real friend, they should get him into a drug rehab program where he can examine his life and make some serious changes.

Boston MA: A huge, 14-month investigation is underway at the Boston Police Department following the discovery that drugs confiscated in nearly 1,000 cases over 16 years are missing from the central drug depository. The drugs included cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and OxyContin (the OxyContin was replaced with a substance similar to Tylenol or aspirin).

The decision to begin meddling with drugs is never made with crime in mind, or drug rehab, for that matter. Nevertheless, drug crimes occur in cities, towns and villages across the country every day. Millions are addicted, more addicts are made every day, and crime becomes the only way to support the habit. The solution to both crime and addiction for addicts caught in the drug-and-crime trap is more help from family, friends and the community in providing a drug rehab program when it’s first needed, before things get completely out of control.

Criminal Law and Drug Crimes

Have you or a loved one been arrested for a drug crime? If so, you must know this is a very serious offense. It’s not something you will be able to handle yourself. You will need to hire a good criminal law attorney who knows the laws when a drug crime has been committed.

One of the reasons why the law prosecutes drug criminals so heavily is because violence often accompanies the crime. Drug addiction is an evil which changes the lives and personalities of people. They do things they would not ordinarily do.

Because of all this, many states have waged war – on drugs and offenders. The destruction trail which drugs forge is well-documented. Attorneys who specialize in criminal law know, more than anyone, what drug addiction can do to a life and a family. They work tirelessly to help the drug addict avoid great loses such as his freedom, his family or his life.

If you’re convicted of a drug crime, you may face a lengthy prison term, heavy fines, probation and service in the community. You must also enroll in a drug treatment course.

A good attorney may also obtain a plea bargain for the person arrested for the drug crime. A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant. The defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced charge. This is common and is often used to avoid an excessively long and expensive trial period.

If you’re using drugs, you must be aware of these other consequences:

– You may have a lifelong criminal record.

– Your career opportunities will be diminished or may even be eliminated.

– You may not be able to obtain employment ever again.

– Certain licenses will be unobtainable such as driving certain vehicles or owning a firearm.

– You may not be able to get a travel visa.

– Socially, you may be discriminated against in your neighborhood or with friends and even family.

– After your time of sentencing is up, if you ever get arrested again, you’ll be dubbed a repeat offender and your penalties will be stiffer.

A word of advice if you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime – don’t make another move until you’ve contacted an attorney.

It’s been estimated that almost 70% of people already in prison in America are there due to drug-related crimes. Whether your crime is related to marijuana, distributing drugs, selling to minors or possessing any narcotic, a criminal law attorney is who you will need to defend your case. Even if you’ve been charged with a drug crime, you still have rights according to the Constitution. You need to have those rights protected.

Drug crime convictions can be frightening and very serious. But, with the right criminal law attorney by your side, it can be less scary and hopefully have a positive outcome.

The War on Drugs Has Become the War on America

Al Capone favored Prohibition. No, that’s not a typo. He favored it because it drove up the price of alcohol dramatically generating a cool $2 billion a year for him (in today’s dollars), from his 10,000 speakeasies. Prohibition lasted 13 years, and its demise came from the creation of the 21st amendment in 1933, based on the numerous societal problems it caused including stronger liquor, increased murder rates, increased theft, and corruption in law enforcement agencies.

The United Nations estimates the drug trade at $400 billion a year, and the driving force behind that is once again, Prohibition. Some industries, like Capone, favor keeping drugs illegal for nefarious reasons. For instance, private prisons are all to happy to keep illicit drugs illegal as it is their constant source of increasing profits; an almost unholy alliance between them and the cartels. Every 19 seconds, someone is the U.S. is arrested for violating a drug law, every 30 seconds it’s for marijuana, having SWAT teams rounding up people as their profit generators with 50,000 no-knock raids every year searching for illegal drugs. Cancer patients and paraplegics have been sentenced to decades in prison for marijuana possession. Quite cozy.

After 40 years and 40 million arrest at a cost of at least $1 trillion dollars, the war on drugs has been an abysmal failure. The prohibition of drugs has guaranteed to keep these drugs very expensive, incentivizing the school drop out rate lured by the incredible profit from the drug trade, and the harder government fights, the higher the drug prices become to compensate for the higher risks, making a return on investment from 5,000 to 22,000 percent. The illegality of these drugs is the foundation of the industry; remove the foundation with legalization, and the industry collapses.

LEAP

James Gierach is a former Assistant State’s Attorney of Cook County, and a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an international organization James Gierachof criminal justice professionals who bear personal witness to the wasteful futility and destruction of the war on drugs. Gierach states,

“The war on drugs is basically at the heart of nearly every crises you could name in America; guns, gangs, crime, prisons, taxes, deficits, AIDS, health care, trade imbalance, corruption of the police, no money for schools and constructive things like drug treatment, job stimulus and of course we fund terrorism.”

LEAP’s position is to legalize drugs because prohibition is what makes them so valuable, giving criminals a monopoly over the supply, unregulated beyond society’s control. Arrests merely create job openings for an endless stream of drug entrepreneurs taking on huge risks for the enormous profits prohibition creates.

LEAP believes that by eliminating prohibition of all drugs for adults and establishing regulations for distribution and use, law enforcement could focus more on crimes of violence, such as rape, aggravated assault and murder, making communities much safer. They also believe that sending parents to prison for non-violent personal drug use destroys families; that with a regulated and controlled environment, drugs will be safer for adult use and less accessible to our children-in our schools today, kids can acquire drugs easier than a six-pack. They believe that by placing drug abuse in the hands of medical professionals rather than the criminal justice system, rates of addiction and overdose deaths will decrease.

Morality and Drugs

There are many people who strenuously object to the legalization of drugs based on morality, especially those in the religious community. They fervently believe in free will yet are entirely comfortable with imposing their perceived morality on the free will of others by empowering government to criminalize the private use of drugs.

What feels moral is not necessarily moral. Morality being anything that alleviates and prevents the suffering of human beings-human welfare. Where is the morality in incarcerating paraplegics and cancer victims for decades for the personal use of marijuana? Where is the morality of supporting laws that perpetuate the funding of terrorism, police corruption, and gang murders? Where is the morality of destroying families by imprisoning parents for personal drug use and making their children wards of the state? Where is the morality of sustaining multi-thousands of percent profit on drugs by keeping them illegal, incentivizing predators to target our children? And where is the morality of supporting laws that are devastating our country, just for the feeling and gratification that somehow criminalizing drugs symbolizes the disapproval of their use without the slightest concern of the cruelty it causes to human beings?

In an article titled, A Biblical and Moral Case Against the War on Drugs, a Christian author writes,

“… the reality is that being for the legalization of drugs and for putting an end to the war on drugs is a moral position.”

Will there be some downside to the legalization of drugs, yes. Can it compare to the havoc it’s wreaking on our society at this moment, no. Doing the moral thing takes courage, despite it being counterintuitive for some. It requires intellectual honesty.

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