I’m Being Investigated for Drug-Related Offenses… What Are My Rights?
If you find yourself being investigated for drug-related crimes in Johnson County, KS it’s crucial to understand your rights and the legal process that you’re about to go through. Kansas drug laws are some of the toughest in the USA, so review this list of rights you have as a suspect under investigation and contact an experienced drug crime lawyer as soon as possible.
Understanding the Law in Johnson County, KS
Kansas drug laws are outlined in the Kansas Statutes, specifically in Chapter 21 (Crimes and Punishments), Article 57 (Crimes Involving Controlled Substances). The state classifies controlled substances into five schedules based on their potential for abuse, medical use, and safety.
What You Could Be Charged With
Under Kansas law, it is illegal to possess any controlled substance without a valid prescription from a licensed practitioner. Penalties for possession depend on the specific drug and the amount in question, with more severe consequences for larger quantities or more dangerous drugs.
Manufacturing and Cultivation
Manufacturing or cultivating controlled substances is a serious offense in Kansas. The penalties for manufacturing or cultivation can be severe, with longer prison terms and higher fines for those involved in large-scale operations.
Distribution and Trafficking
Selling, distributing, or trafficking controlled substances is also illegal in Kansas. Penalties for these offenses vary depending on the type and quantity of drugs involved, as well as the presence of any aggravating factors, such as selling to minors or near a school.
Kansas law prohibits the possession, sale, or manufacture of drug paraphernalia, which includes items used to produce, ingest, or store controlled substances. Penalties for paraphernalia offenses depend on the circumstances, with harsher penalties for those who sell or distribute paraphernalia to minors. Of course, the big question is always whether something actually is drug paraphernalia, especially if the arresting officers didn’t see it being used or advertised as such.
A court or other authority will consider the following factors (and more) when determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia:
- What the owner or person in control of the object has said about its use
- Any prior convictions of the owner or person in control of the object for drug-related offenses
- Whether the object was found near drugs or drug paraphernalia
- Whether the object has any residue of drugs on it
- Whether the object was found in a place where drugs are typically used
- Whether the object is used by people who use drugs
- Whether an expert says the object is used for drugs
Knowing Your Rights as a Suspect Under Investigation
The Right to Remain Silent
The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects your right to remain silent. You are under no obligation to answer questions from law enforcement or provide them with any information that could be used against you. Don’t speak to anyone without your attorney present.
The Right to an Attorney
You have the right to consult with a drug crime lawyer before answering any questions or providing any information to law enforcement. You should always exercise this right! No matter how nice, or threatening, the police may seem, their hope is to get you to say something incriminating, and their threats are often empty at this point. Your lawyer will help protect you.
The Right to Be Free from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. Law enforcement must have a warrant, probable cause, or a reasonable suspicion to search you or your property. If they obtained evidence against you in violation of this right, your lawyer may be able to have it excluded from the case entirely.
The Right to Due Process
You are entitled to due process of law, which includes the right to a fair and impartial trial and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
The Right to Present Evidence and Call Witnesses
You have the right to present evidence in your defense and call witnesses to testify on your behalf. You also have the right to confront any witnesses against you.
The Right to Appeal
If you are convicted of a drug-related offense, you have the right to appeal your case to a higher court.
Tips for Helping Your Lawyer Get the Best Possible Result
Be Honest and Open
Provide your lawyer with all relevant information and details about your case, even if you think it might hurt your defense. Your attorney can only effectively advocate for you with a complete understanding of the facts.
Collect any evidence that may support your defense, such as documents, photographs, or witness statements. Preserve this evidence and provide it to your attorney as soon as possible.
Stay Organized and Punctual
Keep track of all court dates, meetings, and deadlines, and be punctual to all scheduled appointments, court meetings, and anything else that comes up in relation to your case.
Avoid Discussing Your Case with Others
Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your attorney: this includes posting anything online. Conversations with others aren’t protected by the robust attorney-client privilege that protects all your discussions with your lawyer, so you might find a statement being used against you when you least expect it.
Stay Out of Trouble
While your case is pending, avoid any situations that could lead to further legal trouble. Demonstrate that you are a responsible and law-abiding individual.
Consider Treatment or Counseling
If your drug-related offense involves substance abuse, and you do indeed have a problem with drugs, consider seeking treatment or counseling. By demonstrating a commitment to addressing the underlying issues, you can often get the court to look more favorably on you.
FAQ About Terms and Concepts
What’s a “Controlled Substance?”
A controlled substance is any drug regulated by the government. Controlled substances are classified into five schedules, depending on their potential for abuse and addiction. The most dangerous controlled substances are in Schedule I, while the least dangerous controlled substances are in Schedule V.
What Counts as Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is any object that is used to prepare, consume, or administer illegal drugs, so it’s hard to give a specific definition. Some common examples of drug paraphernalia include:
- Rolling papers
Do I Have to Accept a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is an agreement to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. You should not agree to a plea bargain without first consulting with your attorney to make sure it is in your best interest, and you are never obligated to accept such a bargain.
What Kind of Evidence Might Help My Case?
Any of the following could be helpful in getting you a good outcome:
- Expert testimony
- Witness testimony
- Video evidence
- Audio evidence
- Drug testing results
- Medical records
- School records
- Employment records
Talk to your lawyer about what will make the most difference for your situation. While each case is unique, your lawyer will have lots of experience and will be able to make smart suggestions for the best outcome.
Facing a drug-related investigation in Johnson County, KS can be intimidating, but a skilled drug crime lawyer is your best defense. If you’ve been charged with any drug-related crime, contact Henderson Legal Defense, LLC at 913-586-2943 right away. Don’t talk to anyone else until you’ve connected with our experienced lawyers.