The recent spike in the number of drug arrests in Long Island has instigated a new priority with police departments in the region concerning decreasing drug activity within the jurisdiction. In particular, there has been an uptick in heroin and cocaine arrests that are intended to take serious drug traffickers off of the street. The problem with the reevaluation of department priorities is that many of the multiple individuals arrested in a roundup may not necessarily be involved in drug trafficking per se, and are only arrested because of association with suspects the police are truly wanting to apprehend. This is done for a variety of reasons, but the fallout is still the same, as many defendants commonly plead guilty to a reduced charge or provide states evidence in other prosecutions. This agreement can also spell trouble for those defendants who testify when the true culprits are still doing business on the streets. When this happens to an individual who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is absolutely vital to retain an experienced and aggressive Long Island drug trafficking defense lawyer who understands how to combat unwarranted charges while still protecting the defendant’s criminal defense rights.
Why It is Important to Fight Any Drug Charge
Drug charges are not necessarily like other criminal defense cases. Even misdemeanor possession charges can cause trouble in the future for the convicted defendant. Not only does the amount of contraband confiscated matter, but the number of convictions can matter as well. And, of course, penalties for drug trafficking are much more severe than lower level charges. Even when the state actually has a good case, having a Long Island drug trafficking attorney can ensure that penalties can be held to a minimum when your attorney can investigate all issues of the charge for validity. Drug trafficking in large quantities is particularly problematic for most defendants because it can result in significant jail terms based on how the prosecution classifies the charge, along with very extensive fines as additional punishment. Merely accepting the mandated public defender instead of retaining a personal criminal defense representative will almost assure the state will get a guilty plea for the penalty they want to impose, as public defenders are normally focused on a plea as opposed to a dismissal or diversion agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant. The attorney you choose makes a big difference.
Evaluating Material Evidence
Many cases are prosecuted on borderline or frivolous evidence that may not actually be admissible. An aggressive criminal defense attorney can conduct an investigation into the arrest on the client’s behalf and request dismissal or suppression of any invalid or illegally obtained evidence, including actual busts of significant quantities of controlled substances. Evidence is not admissible when the defendant’s legal rights are violated during the apprehension, and especially involving disregard by officers for legal search and seizure protocol. This is an area of law where overzealous police officers tend to not always follow the rules of evidence acquisition, and many times an illegal arrest is the technicality that allows an experienced drug trafficking lawyer to win the dismissal or charge reduction for the client.
Going to Trial
Because of prosecution reluctance to negotiate properly with a defendant’s legal team, many drug cases result in a full trial. This is especially true when the defendant is a victim of circumstances and is being charged on questionable evidence. Prosecutors do not always follow the reasonable doubt standard when applying charges, instead acting as though the fact the case is a drug charge entitles the state to a conviction without a trial. Prosecutors commonly want to avoid a trial at all costs, but not necessarily because they want to save the government resources. Prosecutors do not like allowing a defendant to be acquitted after losing the case as determined by a jury. Having an attorney who is ready to defend the client completely through the legal process can make a major difference for the defendant, and is often the primary reason a prosecutor becomes willing to actually negotiate in good faith.
Never let the state deny your full legal rights when facing a drug trafficking charge. Not only can drug trafficking convictions cost serious time in jail and and excessive amounts of money in fines and confiscated funds, it can also create future problems for the defendant and their family in terms of gainful employment and potential public housing or government benefits. The government is still required to prove their charge beyond a reasonable doubt even when the case is drug related. Drug trafficking charges carry a social stigma that few other criminal situations carry, not to mention enhanced court policy concerning drug convictions. Courts are not required to set minimum penalties as common punishment in a drug case, and many times it takes an experienced Long Island drug trafficking lawyer to defend the case solidly with regard to all articles of evidence. Retaining a criminal defense attorney is not just an investment in a defendant’s freedom. It is an investment in their future as well.