Keys to A Proper Drug Defense

When someone is charged with possession of illegal drugs, they often ask what the best criminal defense strategies or defense lawyer tactics are.

Defenses for Drug Cases

A criminal defense lawyer in Houston may use several strategies to try to defeat a drug case. The manner in which the drugs were seized may be attacked. For example, if the drugs were seized in a car, the cops need to have had reasonable suspicion to believe you had committed a crime in order to pull you over. Beyond this, they may have needed probable cause to search your vehicle in some circumstances. In contrast, if the drugs were seized in your house, the validity of the search warrant will sometimes determine the admissibility of the illegal drugs.

If your constitutional rights were violated during the course of seizing the drugs, the evidence may not be admitted into evidence following a successful motion to suppress evidence. In other words, evidence seized in violation of your constitutional rights may not be used against you and the case may be dismissed. This is a principle underpinning criminal law.

Beyond this, whether or not you were actually in possession of illegal drugs turns on whether you exercised care, custody, or control over them. In many cases, the police cannot establish affirmative links between the seized controlled substance and the person accused of possessing them.

As explained elsewhere on this site, the type of drugs allegedly possessed as well as the amount of drugs and any prior criminal history will impact the potential punishment range for drug charges.

Criminal Defense Lawyers and Drug Crimes

As criminal defense lawyers in Houston know, under certain circumstances, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office offers pre-trial intervention for possession of certain controlled substances, which is a deal where you can avoid a conviction and have your case dismissed if you enter into a contract agreeing to do certain things and refrain from doing others.

Sometimes, a case may be dismissed because the “drug” is not actually a drug. Nathaniel Pitoniak has obtained a dismissal for possession of cocaine where, despite the substance field testing positive for cocaine when the police tested it at the scene of the arrest, laboratory results revealed the alleged cocaine was not actually cocaine.

Nathaniel Pitoniak has been hired by the parents or other loved ones of people charged with drug crimes. Beyond the direct consequences associated with a criminal arrest, Nathaniel Pitoniak strives to provide effective guidance to those afflicted with substance abuse issues. The ultimate consequence of illegal drug use, especially in the case of heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, may be death. Obtaining the proper treatment in conjunction with defending criminal defense charges can make a huge impact on a person’s chances of survival.

Criminal Law 101: The Basics

Criminal law is a body of law that defines all federal and state crimes and their related consequences. If you’ve ever wondered what all encompasses criminal law, here are the basics of what you should know about it:

Types of Crimes

There are two categories of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are criminal offenses that are considered “less serious” than a felony. They are minor crimes that may be punishable by a fine and/or short-term incarceration. In most states, they are usually ranked by three different classes, depending on the nature of the crime; Class A misdemeanors are usually ranked as the most severe of misdemeanors, while Class C misdemeanors are the least serious. Some examples of misdemeanors include:

  • Petty theft
  • Criminal trespass
  • Vandalism
  • Reckless damage/destruction

Felonies, on the other hand, are considered more serious crimes in the eyes of the law. As a result, they may be punishable by more serious consequences, such as longer incarceration times. Like misdemeanors, felonies are categorized by degrees, ranging from the first through fourth degree.Examples of felonies include:

  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Homicide

Consequences of Crimes

The types of consequences you may see from a crime will depend on the nature of the crime, including the people involved and the alleged crime itself. Both state and federal laws outline the range of punishments possible depending on these factors. These consequences may include:

  • Fines – Fines are fees that are assigned to a guilty party, in which the individual is expected to pay back over a period of time. The more serious the crime, the more likely these fees increase.
  • Incarceration – Incarceration involves time in jail or prison. The length of a jail or prison sentence depends on the nature of the crime.
  • Probation – Probation is a type of punishment that is issued in lieu of jail time. If a criminal is able to follow a strict set of guidelines, such as not committing additional crimes, or staying within a certain region, then he or she may be able to avoid incarceration.
  • Alternative Sentences – These are all punishments that do not usually involve jail time, and are usually for misdemeanor crimes. Some examples of alternative sentences include community service or drug/alcohol rehabilitation programs.

If you have been accused of a misdemeanor or felony crime, and are at risk of seeing such consequences as a result, give Nathanial Pitoniak a call for a free consultation. He is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who specializes in a large range of crimes. He will be able to help you find the right, strategic defense for your case.