Drug trafficking is a serious offense. If you face a drug trafficking charge, you’re going to want to do better than searching “criminal defense attorney near me” and calling it a day. You need to prepare a real defense.
For the best odds of winning your drug trafficking case, keep reading. Everyone, innocent and guilty, deserves the full protection of the law. Don’t let the police guilt you into throwing your case away when you’ve got a chance.
The Police Are Not Your Friends
The first thing anyone being charged with a crime should understand is they are innocent until proven guilty. Being charged means the police think they have a case against you not that you have no way to beat those charges.
The police need to prove your guilt in a court of law. From the moment they start investigating you, their goal is (more or less) solely to gather evidence of that guilt. This is their job, not yours.
Whether you’re guilty or innocent, there is no reason to help them in that process. The penalties for drug trafficking are stiff; even more so if this is a second offense.
Unfortunately, many people fall for common police tactics meant to lure them into a false sense of security. Make no mistake; if the police are talking to you, they are gathering evidence on your involvement in a crime.
This is why many experts advise that you never talk to the police without your attorney telling you to do so. Any questions they need answering can be answered in court or with the appropriate warrant.
Your innocence may not even matter to the police. Even when given direct evidence proving an individual has not committed a crime, it is not unheard of for the police to still pursue charges if they feel they have a case.
Know Your Rights and Remain Calm
Related to the above, you should know how to carry yourself when interacting with law enforcement. Here the ACLU’s guidelines can be of good use. Of their many useful points, note the following:
- Always remain calm, making no sudden movements and never shouting
- Never touch a police officer, even if they act in an aggressive manner
- Do not resist arrest, even if it is unfair or unlawful
- Never consent to a search, repeating that you do not consent to a search if the police mention a search in any way
- If the police try to search you, your car, or a person, do not stop them but repeat that you do not consent to a search, preferably on video if it is legal in your area
- Ask “Am I free to leave?” whenever you are stopped by a law enforcement agent
Often when police choose to act in an unlawful manner, the consequences won’t be immediately apparent. The trick is not to panic, not to react with violence or aggression, and record their unlawful actions if possible.
If the police acted in a manner against the law, your lawyer may be able to have any evidence they collected while acting in such a way thrown out.
Lawyer Up (and Listen)
It can be intimidating knowing that the system is often stacked against defendants. You face the police and what may be an experienced prosecutor in a country with stiff drug laws. You may be facing federal charges.
Whatever your feelings about the legal system, the very moment you face a drug trafficking charge is when you should lawyer up. Find the best criminal defense attorney and follow their advice to the letter.
Many of the benefits of this are somewhat obvious. The legal system is complicated and hard for the layperson to navigate. A lawyer has not only studied this system but may have dealt with dozens of cases much like yours.
A lawyer can also dedicate time to your case in a way many people can’t. If you have to work or, worse, sit in jail as you face your case, it can be almost impossible to meaningfully fight any charges.
A good attorney knows how to find holes in evidence, search for counterevidence, search for any useful legal loopholes, and better negotiate with the prosecution.
Unless your attorney is incompetent (and the vast majority are not), listening to them is how you get the best odds of a good result at your trial. Pay close attention to what they say and do not deviate from their advice.
Remain on the Straight and Narrow
Whether the charges you face are legitimate or not, it is paramount you avoid any further trouble with the law while you fight them.
You should be avoiding not just drugs but any crime at all costs. You have the attention of the police and the prosecution is going to be trying to prove to a jury in court that you are the type of person who commits crimes.
In fact, it is likely the police may now be keeping tabs on you, hoping you break the law now that they’re paying attention. If they catch you committing further drug crimes, your attorney will face a massively uphill battle.
Within the confines of the law, you want to get as far from drugs and any criminal elements in your life as possible. If you have old associates who deal in drugs, even if they have nothing to do with your case, don’t be seen with them for the duration of your case.
Even if you are found guilty in court, looking like you’ve cleaned up and regret your actions is going to net you a better sentence. There is zero advantage to acting in an illegal or suspicious way as you face charges.
This is all putting aside the ethics of committing crimes or the fact you’d be risking another charge on top of the one you already face. There are a number of reasons not to commit crimes; choose whichever is most convincing.
Take Drug Trafficking Seriously
If you’ve been charged with drug trafficking, the decisions you make next could impact the next decade or more of your life. Remain calm but keep all the above in mind.
For anyone facing such charges in Louisiana, attorney Carl Barkemeyer can help. An expert drug crime lawyer with a published book on the subject, you can rely on him to defend you regardless of the severity of your charges.
If you live in Baton Rouge or the surrounding area, don’t delay. Contact Carl Barkemeyer.