What To Do If Arrested For Drug Possession
Being charged with drug possession in the state of Louisiana can be a grave mistake to make when apprehended by law enforcement. When it happens, you must make certain decisions quickly to have the best chance of avoiding a serious sentence. In this article, we will discuss what to do if arrested for drug possession in the Shreveport or New Orleans drug possession charges.
Being arrested with drug possession, especially a felony-level charge, would create instant stress in anyone’s life. Not only does the public stigma of a drug charge cause anxiety, but facing a sentence in jail or prison can be overwhelming for most.
This anxiety has caused many people to make mistakes when charged with drug possession or any other drug charges. Law enforcement and prosecutors will use your fears against you. The best thing you can do is maintain your composure and follow the steps below.
Without your attorney present to advise you, there is nothing you can say after being charged with drug possession to the police or a prosecutor that will help you. Your best bet is to wait until you have a lawyer present to answer any questions because anything you say can be used against you in court.
Distribution of drugs in New Orleans, Louisiana and most states carry a higher charge than simple possession. If you are arrested for distribution in Shreveport, it’s pretty much the same scenario. You would hate to have a possession charge upgraded due to something that comes out of your mouth that gives the prosecution evidence that you were involved in more than possession.
Contact an Experienced Drug Defense Attorney
Not all lawyers are the same. Most criminal defense attorneys specialize in specific types of charges. With this experience, it can be to your benefit when charged with drug possession. This means that the attorney experienced in defending the type of charge you received is an expert in the field.
Don’t Consent to an Additional Search
If you have been arrested and charged with drug possession, you may be asked to give consent for the police to search your home, vehicle, or other personal property. Realize that if they have enough probable cause to complete these searches, they will ask a judge for a search warrant. If they are asking for your permission, they are on a fishing expedition.
Many people make the mistake of saying yes to a consent to search, thinking they are showing cooperation when they are only putting themselves and others in jeopardy. Let the state do their own work without helping them find more crimes to charge you with.
Don’t Expect a Quick Release on Bail
In the movies, someone is arrested and walks out of jail on bond within a couple of hours. This is not the case in the real world. The process of booking, arraigned before a judge, and released on bond, even if you have the money for bond, can take much longer than you think.
Be prepared to spend twenty-four to forty-eight hours at a minimum before walking out of jail on bail, depending on how busy the system is. Remain calm, listen to your attorney and have patience during this part of the process.
Seek Drug Counseling
When charged with a drug charge, seek some form of drug counseling, whether you have an addiction or not. Courts see defendants taking responsibility for their actions in a positive light. Will it help your case in particular? Maybe or maybe not, but it certainly will not hurt your case and could be beneficial to you.
Listen to Your Attorney
As discussed before, your attorney is experienced in defending drug charges. Some defendants make the mistake of listening to the advice of their friends or family who should not be giving legal strategies. Do everything your attorney says, and your chances of success in your case will be much stronger.
Stay Out of Trouble
If you have been charged with drug possession and are awaiting a court date, you do not want to get arrested for anything, especially another drug charge. It doesn’t have to be another drug charge, though necessarily. Any additional arrest can put your original charge in jeopardy.
If facing a court date, the best thing to do is keep to yourself, go to work, and come home. Many people have gone out to have a few drinks with their buddies only to get arrested during their night of fun. When facing a drug charge, you cannot afford to have another arrest, no matter what the charge is.
Be Prepared to Serve Time
Depending on what type or the amount of drugs you were charged with, there is always a chance you could have to serve some time in jail or prison. You could also be found not guilty or receive probation, but always be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Even those who receive a light sentence may be required to spend a few days, weeks, or weekends in jail to meet the requirements of their sentence.
Be Prepared to Settle
The attorney handling your case will work to get the best outcome for you. Depending on how strong the state’s case is, this may mean settling with the prosecution on the result of the case. For example, if you are facing prison time and your attorney can get the state to offer 5 years probation, you may not be happy about it, but this may be your best choice.
Again, an experienced defense attorney will know when to fight and when to deal. Listen to your Louisiana attorney’s advice and get the best resolution to your case.
Being charged with drug possession for most is a scary situation to be in. By following the steps above, you will give yourself the best chance for a positive outcome. Be smart, don’t help the prosecution make their case against you, and hire an experienced defense attorney who knows their way around a drug possession case.