Going up against DUI or drug charges in Kansas puts you in a difficult position because this state has some of the strictest penalties in the country. You will likely receive pressure from government agents to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence, even if you did nothing wrong. A drug crime attorney in Olathe, KS can offer you defense strategies that may make the difference between overcoming the charges and receiving a conviction.
8 Situations Where You Need a Drug Crime Attorney
Any time you have been accused of a crime involving drugs or alcohol, it is essential to get the input of an attorney. You cannot rely on the government to fully explain your rights or ensure you understand all of the implications of a conviction. Here are some specific drug crime scenarios that call for professional legal representation:
1. You Were Pulled Over for Weaving, But You Did Not Cross a White or Yellow Line
If you were given a DUI, the manner of your arrest matters. According to the law, police officers cannot pull you over for weaving unless your car crosses a yellow or white line. Regardless of whether or not you subsequently failed a breathalyzer test, your lawyer may be able to get your case dismissed by demonstrating that the police violated protocols.
Arguing that the arresting officers acted illegally is one of the most effective strategies defense attorneys can use to overcome charges in the face of strong evidence against the defendant. In related situations, the defense attorney may be able to show that the officers failed to read the arrestee his or her Miranda rights or that the defendant was detained at the station for too long before being given a drug or alcohol test.
2. You Failed a Breathalyzer Test
As discussed above, failing a breathalyzer test does not necessarily guarantee a conviction. Even if the police did arrest you according to their protocols, there could be opportunities to argue that the test you were given was manufactured incorrectly or that the officers who gave it to you did not follow the instructions. Introducing the possibility of a false positive can often persuade the court to disregard the test results.
3. You Were Arrested for Possessing Drugs That Belonged to Someone Else
Just because you had drugs on your person or in your car at the time of the arrest does not necessarily mean they belonged to you. In order for a conviction to occur, the prosecution needs to show that you knowingly violated drug laws. If your attorney can demonstrate that another individual hid the drugs among your possessions to cover up his or her own offenses, you stand a good chance of being found innocent.
4. You Were the Victim of Entrapment
Entrapment is an illegal practice that police officers and government agents engage in when they persuade individuals to commit crimes in order to facilitate an arrest. According to the definition of entrapment, the crime would not have been committed without the intervention of the authorities.
Sometimes, the officers convince individuals to take illegal actions outright. Other times, the authorities may falsely persuade their target that the proposed action does not constitute a violation of the law. In either case, you cannot be legally convicted if there is viable evidence that you fell into an entrapment scheme.
5. You Had a Prescription for the Drugs Found in Your Possession
While some substances, such as heroin and cocaine, have no approved uses, many other drugs are permitted for medicinal purposes with a valid prescription. If you can demonstrate that you were prescribed the drugs in question by a doctor, you can avoid conviction.
While producing your prescription may seem fairly straightforward, you will need to follow legal protocols in order to have your charges dismissed. Working with a lawyer can help ensure that you observe all deadlines and meet your legal obligations without inadvertently implicating yourself at any point in the process.
6. You Want to Avoid the Life-Altering Implications of a Conviction
Many individuals make the mistake of pleading guilty without truly understanding the effects of having a drug or DUI conviction on their criminal record. Even if the state reduces your sentence or eliminates the possibility of jail time, being convicted can:
- Make it difficult to rent an apartment
- Cause your auto insurance premiums to double or triple
- Exclude you from certain professions
- Cause damage to your reputation
- Increase the penalty for any drug crimes you are charged with in the future
- Require you to drive with an ignition lock and/or go through counseling
7. You Were Caught With Drug Paraphernalia
In Kansas, you can be penalized for owning drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it in relation to a drug offense. Drug paraphernalia includes any devices or accessories that are associated with illegal controlled substances. Spoons, bongs, roach clips, cocaine freebase kits, and pipes are all examples of drug paraphernalia.
While individuals are allowed to possess and use tobacco paraphernalia, having any equipment intended for the ingestion, injection, storage, or production of illegal substances can result in heavy fines and jail time. Among other available defenses, your drug crime lawyer may be able to show that the items you were found with were intended for tobacco use or some other legal purpose.
8. You Were Charged With the Intent to Distribute
The levels of conviction and the penalties associated with drug crimes go up depending on your prior convictions, the amount of the substance found in your possession, and whether or not you had the intent to distribute. Currently, possessing a small amount of marijuana in Kansas is considered a misdemeanor, while possessing 450g or more with the intent to distribute can incur a felony with a fine of up to $100,000.
If you were accused of intending to distribute an illegal substance, or if any other aspect of your case could incur the possibility of being charged with a felony, it is important to take aggressive action in your defense. Convictions associated with serious drug crimes can take years to recover from financially and usually have life-long effects on convicted individuals. Even if it is impossible to overcome the charges entirely, your lawyer may be able to reduce your sentence.
Time Is of the Essence
After you have been charged with crimes relating to drugs or alcohol, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. It is important to understand your rights before you sign any documents the government offers you or make any official statements. Additionally, you will need to abide by strict deadlines in order to request the hearings necessary to preserve your driving privileges and fight the charges against you.
Our consultations are free of charge. We abide by the highest standards for confidentiality and will listen to your case with the sole intent to further your interests. When the stakes are high, you can rely on us for candid legal advice and skilled representation.
Our Attorneys in Olathe, KS Are On Your Side
We are committed to providing top legal representation, regardless of what charges you face or how much evidence is against you. With skillful defense tactics, you may stand a better chance of overcoming a conviction than the government would have you believe. To discuss your case with a compassionate drug crime attorney in Olathe, KS, contact Billam & Henderson, LLC.