Criminal Law Basics: An Introduction To Drug Charge Defense

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4 Ways an Attorney Presents a Criminal Defense

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If you're planning to hire a criminal law attorney, you're probably also thinking about how a lawyer might present your case. Look at four ways a criminal defense attorney might approach a situation.

Addressing Issues with the Police

When at all possible, a lawyer wants to nip a case in the bud right away. If you haven't already been charged, a criminal law attorney will try to address the situation by dealing with the cops. This doesn't mean they're inclined to argue with the police. It's quite the opposite, in fact. A criminal defense attorney will usually attempt to limit what the cops can ask you. Likewise, your lawyer will encourage you to refrain from speaking with the police except when it's clearly in your interest to do so. The goal isn't to kill the case. Instead, an attorney wants to avoid giving it fuel.

Objecting to the Case at Initial Hearings

If the police or a prosecutor elects to charge you with an offense, you'll have the right to hear what the case is about at an arraignment hearing. The state, meaning the cops and the prosecution, has to explain why you're being charged before the court will allow things to proceed.

This is an opportunity for a criminal law attorney to start poking holes in the charges. Suppose you were charged for drug possession after a traffic stop. A lawyer will question why you were stopped, how the police interacted with you, and how they concluded you had drugs in your vehicle.

If there's a problem with the case, your attorney will file a motion to dismiss. This is a request for the judge to toss the case because there isn't sufficient proof a crime occurred. Some dismissals are also based on failures of procedures, such as the cops failing to read you your rights or a lab technician losing track of evidence.

Gather Insight Through Discovery

The last chance to avoid a trial or plea deal is during discovery. At this time, the prosecution has to turn over all of the evidence they plan to use against you. This covers videos, audiotapes, wiretap and phone records, and physical evidence. If the evidence is flimsy or tainted, that's another chance to ask for a dismissal.

Present Your Case

The majority of cases don't make it to trial. However, a criminal defense attorney will present oftentimes similar arguments before a jury, raising questions about evidence and police procedures. A more affirmative defense may center proving you weren't at the crime scene.

Learn more about working with criminal defense attorneys by contacting legal services like Daniels Long & Pinsel.