Rights During a DC Drug Arrest

A person who is arrested has the right during a DC drug arrest to speak to a lawyer, however, the police officers do not necessarily have to let them speak to a lawyer. The person does have the right to not be questioned without the presence of a lawyer, and they should invoke that right immediately. They also have the right to be seen in court within 48 hours of their arrest, and has the right to counsel at their initial court hearing and thereafter.

With these things in mind, if your rights may have been violated during a DC drug arrest, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable DC drug lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can examine the process of your drug arrest in DC and begin building a case to help lessen or dismiss any consequences you may be facing.

Consenting to a Search

A person should never consent to a search of their person, their belongings, their car, their home, or anything else during a DC drug arrest. They should never consent to a search by the police because the police have to justify their reasons for conducting a search without a search warrant.

In many instances, the police do not have a warrant, particularly if they just pull someone over. Giving consent to a search takes away the officer’s need to justify that search. If law enforcement has consent, that is all the justification they need. Therefore, it is the right of an individual to refuse consent to a search during a DC drug arrest.

Disclosing Information to the Police

A person should not share anything besides their name, date of birth, and any other kind of identifying information. It is a person’s right during a drug arrest in DC to not give any other information to the police because the police can use anything the individual says against them.

The person should not make any admissions about a drug case, or about the drugs themselves. Any kind of admission a person makes will be used later against that person in the criminal case. They should not say anything that could be harmful to them, and should not talk about anything besides their basic identifying information.

What to Expect After an Arrest

With a misdemeanor charge where someone is not already on probation, supervised release, or has a pending case against them, the individual should expect to be released with a citation from the police telling them to come to court at a later date. With a felony charge such as possession with intent to distribute drugs, or if the person is already on release in some other case, they will be held in custody by the police for possibly the next couple days until they are brought before the court where a determination as to their release is made.

In certain cases, a person may be held in custody by the judge after their DC drug arrest until their next hearing, which in a felony case is a preliminary hearing. That hearing is held three to five business days after the first hearing. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, the person’s criminal history, and whether they are on release for some other matter, they might remain in custody for several days or even until they go to trial or otherwise resolve the case.

DC Drug Arrests