Marijuana possession charges can turn from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the facts leading to your arrest, i.e., the amount and value of the drugs in your possession. Misdemeanors are offenses the law considers to be less serious and require more lenient punishments. On the other hand, felonies require severe consequences, like an extended jail term. If you're facing marijuana possession charges, hire a drug crimes defense attorney. The following are reasons why attorney representation is crucial in such a case.
They Help Prepare a Proper Defense
A marijuana possession charge is something you shouldn't take lightly, as courts are always strict regarding drug-related crimes, and you may end up with a conviction. Moreover, a felony conviction ends up in personal records damaging your reputation and significantly reducing your chances of employment. Thus, having an experienced drug possession attorney in such cases is crucial. They'll assess the nature of the charges and the facts and choose the best approach to defending your case.
They Have Familiarity and Connections in the Criminal Justice System
Part of the legal training to become a defense attorney is understanding how the criminal justice system works. That also comes with experience in handling many cases during their career. For instance, they know how the police department works and will guide you on what to say in your statement to avoid self-incrimination. They are also familiar with how the courts operate and will guide you on what to say and how to act when in court. Furthermore, most of them regularly interact and create professional relationships with prosecutors. That can make it easy to agree on bail or secure favorable plea-bargaining terms. Thus, unless you're an attorney, you're likely to make costly mistakes during the process that might land you behind bars.
They Ensure Law Enforcement Follows Due Process
The nature of the prosecution's charges in court often depends on the events preceding your arrest and court date. The law enforcement department should follow due process to ensure the information they present in court is honest and accurate. However, that's not usually the case, as arrests can result in constitutional rights violations or fabricated evidence that may mislead the court to convict you. A marijuana possession defense lawyer will question the police defense to establish whether they followed due process. For example, they'll inquire whether police had a warrant to search your property and if you were assaulted or coerced into writing your statement. They also examine how the officers got information leading to your arrest or if it was a setup. Making an argument on due process by yourself can be difficult as you may not know the stipulated legal procedures that law enforcement officers should follow.
Contact a local drug defense attorney to learn more.