DC Drug Lawyer

With the exception of small quantities of marijuana, drug crimes are vigorously pursued by law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies in DC. The authorities recognize the ongoing drug problems in DC. As a result, many resources are put into identifying distribution channels of illegal drugs.

It is important for any individual who is arrested or being investigated for illegal drug activity to contact a DC drug attorney as soon as possible. There are constitutional concerns with searches and seizures associated with the tactics used by law enforcement. It is critical to have an experienced attorney help a person through the process to make sure that everything done by law enforcement is carefully scrutinized to limit the prosecutor’s ability to proceed with the case against that person.

Social Consequences

Anyone with a felony conviction on their record including a felony for a drug crime has serious consequences in their future prospects for a career or a good job because it is almost ubiquitous that any employer does a background check or inquires as to whether someone has a conviction. An employer wants to know about a felony conviction as well as misdemeanors. A conviction for certain drug offenses can result in the following:

  • Revocation or suspension of a person’s driver’s license
  • Disqualification from receiving federal student aid
  • Denial of jobs with the Federal Government
  • Inability to obtain or maintain a security clearance for a direct government job or a job with a federal contractor

Additionally as DC drug lawyers are aware, there is a certain social stigma for having a criminal conviction, particularly one that involves the sale or transfer or possession with the intent to distribute narcotics. Having a criminal conviction creates problems for any situation that requires a background check such as employment, housing, and certain federal programs.

Constitutional Issues

Drug cases often involve potential constitutional issues. For example, it is uncommon for someone to be conducting a drug sale completely out in the open with a large quantity of drugs. Unless it involves an undercover law enforcement officer, most of the time, drug cases stem from an interaction between law enforcement and people in the public and a quantity of drugs is subsequently found by police. For example, someone is pulled over in their car; a police officer comes up to them on the street, or an officer gets a warrant to search their residence or car.

Whenever someone is stopped and searched, that raises significant constitutional issues about whether the police had probable cause and the lawful justification to stop the individual and conduct a search that yields the drugs they are charged with. There are concerns under the doctrine of Miranda where the police conduct an interrogation by questioning someone in custody without reading them their constitutional rights. Certain statements might be excluded from a careful constitutional analysis of the facts in the case.

Evidence

The success of a DC drug case hinges primarily on the evidence presented by the prosecution and whether or not the prosecution can use that evidence to convince a judge or jury that someone is guilty of the charge beyond all reasonable doubt. As such, the way in which any evidence was found and seized by authorities can play a major role in the success or failure of their defense. A dedicated DC drug lawyer will investigate the manner in which the prosecution’s evidence was collected to ensure their rights were not violated at any point of the process. Their attorney will also scrutinize the handling of that evidence, and whether all procedures were followed properly.

If there is evidence of wrongdoing on the part of investigators or prosecutors, their DC drug attorney will argue that the charges that resulted from that evidence be dismissed. If that does not prove successful, their attorney can still seek to cast doubt on the prosecution’s claims at trial or may be able to use the information to secure a sentencing agreement that spares them the full brunt of the legal penalties they may otherwise face.

Contacting a DC Drug Attorney

Someone being investigated or arrested who faces drug charges must contact a DC drug defense lawyer as soon as possible. There are critical things that need to be done as early as possible. The person can get legal advice as to what to say, or more importantly, what not to say, what to do, what not to do, preservation of evidence, identification of witnesses, and other evidence. To ensure that everything is done properly in a criminal investigation or a criminal case, a person facing drug charges should contact a defense attorney as soon as they can.