According to California’s Health & Safety Code 11352, drug trafficking involves selling, furnishing, administering, transporting, importing, or giving away controlled drugs like opiates, cocaine, Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), Peyote, heroin, LSD, and some pharmaceutical drugs like hydrocodone and oxycodone.
A drug trafficking charge has serious repercussions and may impact many areas of your life, including your family and your career. You’ll need more than a Google search of the best lawyers to beat a drug trafficking charge.
While getting off the hook of a drug trafficking charge may not be an easy feat, there are some steps you can take on your part to make it easier.
Tips to Help You Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge
The law is too harsh, and you deserve protection from it, whether guilty or innocent. Here are some tips to help you beat a drug trafficking charge.
You have rights – Know them and stand up for them.
The law accords a suspect’s rights that protect them from harassment, questioning, or unfair treatment before, during, and after arrest. Understanding these rights will help you know how to interact with the law enforcement officers so that you don’t give yourself away from them.
A popular right you must be aware of is the right to remain silent and not answer any questions by the police concerning the charge. At this point, the police are not your friend, and they are trying their best to gather as much information as possible from you so as to prove your guilt in court.
Also, you have a right to an attorney, so ask for one. Wait until your lawyer arrives before you start answering any questions. He/she will help you answer in a manner that doesn’t implicate you with the charges.
Getting arrested over a serious crime like drug trafficking can be stressful. However, you can make things worse and get into more trouble if you start a fight with the law enforcement officers. For example, when the police officers come to arrest you, do not resist arrest for any reason.
Also, don’t touch a police officer or hit them, even when they are aggressive towards you. Such an act can work against you in court and even trigger more charges against you. You can record their actions for your own protection, preferably on video.
If the police act unlawfully with you, refrain from reacting violently or aggressively. The best way to handle the situation is to remain calm and record their unlawfulness such that your lawyer can use the video in your defense.
Another thing to remember is that the law protects you (including your car and your house) from any search unless they have a warrant to do so. If the law enforcement officers conduct a search without a warrant, ensure that you repeat to them that you do not consent with that search.
Any evidence obtained in an unwarranted search may not be accepted in court, and this is something your lawyer can use to get you off the hook.
Submit any evidence you have as soon as possible
Depending on the nature of your case, your lawyer will explain to you possible ways to create a solid defense against the charges. This way, you’ll know the kind of evidence to gather and how it will be useful to your case.
For example, in a drug trafficking case, tests may have to be done on the substances to prove they are not illegal or any kind of proof to disassociate yourself with the said drugs. Your approach will differ depending on the charges labeled against you.
It’s important to submit any evidence you have or get as soon as possible because it might get distorted if you keep it with you. Any piece of evidence, no matter how tiny, can be critical in proving your innocence in court.
Listen to your lawyer
Criminal defense lawyers are experienced in these types of cases as they have probably handled hundreds of them in their careers. Therefore, they have seen enough cases to tell the best approach to it in order to win it.
Also, they are familiar with the state and the federal laws against drug trafficking as they interact with [it daily. Therefore, he knows what to look for in a case and in the law to guarantee a win.
As an experienced lawyer, he knows where to find holes in the evidence against you, find counter-evidence and use it, use the law in your favor, and negotiating tactics with the prosecution.
Paying close attention to your lawyer and following their advice will give you better odds of winning the case.
Build a solid defense
Having determined a strategy to follow for your defense and gathering all the evidence you need for the case, your lawyer will guide you through the process of building your defense so that you can make it through in court.
First, if you have never been to court, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the proceedings and the court atmosphere so that you don’t panic during the proceedings. Also, you’ll need to understand how such a case is handled and the questions you’re likely to answer.
Your attorney will also prepare your evidence, including the witnesses to testify on your behalf. Since the prosecutor’s goal is to prove your guilt, your lawyer may focus on their means to obtain evidence as a reason to discredit it, especially if they search you and your property without a search warrant.
The goal is to beat the drug trafficking charges, and your lawyer can follow multiple strategies to meet that goal.
Leave no room for doubt when defending your case
One thing you must always remember is that your prosecutor is determined to prove you guilty and show that you intentionally had the controlled substances. However, they can have a difficult time proving it, especially if your defense is beyond doubt.
For example, if the police found these controlled substances in your car, how do they prove that they belong to you? There are cases of people who leave their luggage in cars, especially if you often drive people around.
There are also cases of planted evidence, and your lawyer can argue your case in the lines of you not knowing anything about the drugs. This argument will give the prosecution a hard time proving that the drugs belong to you.
Possible Defense Strategies to Beat Drug Trafficking Case
As mentioned earlier, your lawyer will study your case and come up with a strategy or strategies that will help you win the case against you. If you have been charged in California, your defense attorney can use any of these strategies, depending on the nature of your case.
Lack of knowledge
In a drug trafficking case, ignorance is a defense. You simply did not know there were drugs on your property or on you. That means someone may have slipped it into your car or forgotten their luggage with you.
If you can fully convince the court that the drugs didn’t belong to you, the case is over because the prosecution will have a difficult time proving otherwise.
Lab equipment issues
Once the police confiscate any suspected illegal controlled substances, they send them to the lab for testing. The lab results prove whether the substances are illegal or not. Keeping in mind that lab equipment can fail, samples can get lost or mixed up, or any other unfortunate incidence in the lab, your attorney can use this as a means to get your case dismissed.
Drugs for personal use and not for sale
In a case where all the evidence points towards you, and there is no way to get off the hook, you can choose to follow a strategy that lessens the severity of the charges and gets you a less harsh punishment.
In California, drug trafficking charges attract hefty fines and long imprisonment. On the other hand, a case for possession of drugs for personal use may not be so severe. Your lawyer can choose this strategy as the last straw.
Law enforcement agencies love it when they can get much-needed information in exchange for a lesser fine or freedom. That means you’ll work cooperatively with an investigator and provide them with valuable information concerning someone they have been trying to find for a long time.
Your attorney will negotiate with the prosecution team and get a good deal for you, depending on the quality of your information. Remember to wait until a deal is struck before you start talking.
This is a special defense that applies in case scenarios where one agrees to commit a crime but has a legal justification. It’s usually misconduct from the law enforcement agents who force or pressure someone to traffic the drugs.
Need a Lawyer?
A drug trafficking case cannot be taken lightly as it can change your life completely. However, if you need help to navigate through such a case, do not hesitate to contact us.