Drug Crime Defenses
Across our nation, all levels of government - federal, state, and local - take drug offenses quite seriously. Drug-related crimes carry severe punishment and a person charged and convicted of a drug crime will have his or her life affected permanently. Having a criminal record, including drug-related charges, can make it hard or impossible to find a job, purchase a home, apply for a loan, or even be approved to rent housing.
For all of these reasons, it is critical that you seek legal counsel immediately if you or someone you know is facing a drug charge in Monroe, Union County. At the law offices of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys have vast experience defending individuals with a variety of drug-related crimes at both the state and federal level.Types of Drug-Related Crimes
Under North Carolina law, there are several types of drug-related crimes with which an accused may be charged by local authorities. Some of the charges our law firm has fought on behalf of accused clients include:
- Possession with intent to distribute;
- Possession of drugs including:
- Crystal meth
- Prescription drugs; and
- Cultivating or manufacturing;
- Selling, distributing, or transporting;
- Maintaining a dwelling or motor vehicle to keep/store drugs; and
- Drug trafficking.
Not surprisingly, any of the above offences can result in possible jail time, monetary fines, and loss of property. Federal or state prosecutors have several resources at their disposal to make a case against you. Hiring a skilled and experienced Monroe Union County criminal defense attorney will help shift the scales back in your favor. Indeed, the law firm of Arnold & Smith, PLLC boasts the experience of a former prosecutor providing us with a unique understanding into the other side’s strategies which will help in your defense.What Your Attorneys Needs to Know
There are several key facts that your criminal defense attorney needs to know in order to properly prepare your defense. These include, but are not limited to:
- Where did the alleged offense happen - on your property or on another’s?
- Exactly where were the drugs found by authorities - on your property or another’s?
- If the drugs were found in a car was it your car or another’s?
- How close in proximity where you to the drugs - could you reach them?
In addition to the above, an experienced Union County criminal defense attorney will likely demand the following of the prosecution regarding your case:
- What was the officer’s exact justification for stopping you, was his or her reason was valid?
- Did the law enforcement official have a legitimate justification to search your person, property, home or vehicle?
- Did the officer fully explain your legal rights to you as required by law?
- Did the law enforcement official intimidate you, causing you to consent to the search?
- Was a search warrant necessary and, if so, did the officers have one?
- Can the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in possession of the illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia?
- Did law enforcement officials or the prosecution make any mistakes in your case?
These are all just preliminary inquiries that a skilled criminal defense attorney will investigate as part of your defense. The experienced Monroe Union County criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC take a hands-on approach to your matter due to our experience in defending a wide range of criminal charges in state and federal courts. We will fight hard to have the drug-related criminal charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether.Penalties: Possession and Trafficking
Under North Carolina law, the simple possession of a controlled substance can result in charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. Furthermore, possession of any item that may be used to facilitate the use or transfer of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor offense. Possession charges are a serious criminal offense in North Carolina. A person accused of drug possession can face up to six months in jail and/or substantial monetary fines. North Carolina law does not distinguish whether the drugs were yours or even if you were aware that the drugs were near you. Constructive possession gives law enforcement the ability to arrest anyone in North Carolina with the intent and capability to maintain control and dominion over a contraband that could possibly move, use, or control illegal drugs in any fashion.
Drug trafficking, on the other hand, is a federal criminal offense. As a result, the requirements are stricter, the penalties are harsher, and the prosecution and/or courts are less lenient when compared to a state level drug-related crime. In fact, federal law sets for mandatory minimum sentences when it comes to drug-related crimes. Often the federal government will ask an accused to cooperate in an investigation, offer a deal, or seek a plea while offering a lesser sentence. Every move you make during a federal investigation will have major implications for you and your loved ones.Criminal Defense in Monroe Union County
Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to consult with a skilled and experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney who can guide you through this difficult process as your liberty is at stake.