Drug crimes can vary from simple drug possession to large scale, international manufacturing, importation, and distribution operations and conspiracy. A federal drug charge may carry a severe minimum mandatory sentence and can significantly affect all aspects of personal and professional life. Drug cases can involve the search and seizure of a home or vehicle. The offenses range from simple possession to participation in an ongoing criminal enterprise to manufacturing and distribution.
Three factors generally governing how serious the drug crime is are: quantity, schedule or classification, and the reason for possession. Possessing a drug for personal use is generally considered less serious than producing, manufacturing, or selling the drug. The greater the amount of the drug in possession, the more likely a charge for possession with intent to distribute. Simple possession requires that the offender knowingly and intentionally possessed a scheduled drug without a valid prescription.
In answer to increased pressure on law enforcement to do something about crimes related to drug use, the laws governing them became tougher around 1970. The war on drugs turned into a war against citizens. The Prevention and Control Act codified federal drug laws, and the war on drugs began.
Half of all prison inmates today have been convicted of a drug offense. In 1980 there were 300,000 people in jail in the US. Today there are over 3 million in jail or under governmental supervision.
Tougher laws mean many convictions violate individual rights. The US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment offers protection from unreasonable search and seizure. At Watson Law office, P.C., we are dedicated to defending and protecting important constitutional rights addressing whether there was probable cause to search. In possession cases, we address issues like actual possession of the drugs on a person, or constructive possession, where the drugs were found in a client’s car, house, desk, or other property. Also, did the offender know the drug was a controlled substance and have actual possession of it, or other control over it, alone or with another? In vehicle search cases, did the officer have cause to make the stop? Was the stop properly executed? Did the officer have authority to execute the search? And so on…. We ask the right questions, gets the answers efficiently, and have a successful track record in challenging drug arrests based on improper searches and invalid search warrants.
A good percentage of our practice is devoted to drug crimes, working with individuals accused of all types of drug crimes. We can quickly evaluate levied charges and ensure those rights are protected throughout the legal process. We can be very helpful to drug offenders facing potential jail time. An experienced aggressive criminal defense provided by our attorneys can help clients protect their records after criminal charges and stay out of jail.