How Do You Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge?
Drug trafficking is a serious crime that involves severe punishments that can include several years of jail time and hefty fines. But it is possible to beat a drug trafficking charge.
In Georgia, drug trafficking laws apply federal mandatory minimum sentences. Per Georgia code § 16-13-31, penalties can include imprisonment of up to thirty years and a fine of up to one million dollars, while subsequent convictions are punishable by up to forty years to life in prison for some substances.
We will discuss how drug trafficking is classified and what you can do to beat a drug trafficking charge. However, you should remember that not every case is the same, so these defenses may not suit your situation. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
What is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is the manufacture, distribution, sale, delivery, or possession of significant amounts of a controlled substance. If the police catch you in possession of a large amount of a drug that would indicate that it is likely that you would sell it instead of using the quantity for personal use, they would then charge you with drug trafficking.
There isn’t a general answer as to whether the amount in your possession would constitute a trafficking charge. Details such as the type of drug, its purity, and the amount in your possession play a role in deciding whether you will face a trafficking charge.
Ways to Beat a Trafficking Charge
With drug trafficking penalties being as severe as they are, it is a good idea to try to get your charges dropped if at all possible. If you have been accused of drug trafficking, it’s important to remember that all hope is not lost. Here are some options that may help you in beating the trafficking charge.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately
You will want to hire an experienced, reputable criminal defense attorney to defend you as soon as you can. Hiring an attorney immediately after your arrest will give them time to review your case and the evidence against you and prepare your defense in a timely manner.
Prove That Police Made a Mistake
Showing that the drug charges you are facing cannot be admissible in court due to errors made by the police is most direct way to have the charges dropped. If you can provide reasonable doubt that your intention was not to traffic drugs, it is possible that the case could be dismissed.
Police do not have the right to search your property or your person if they haven’t obtained a search warrant. If an officer does not have a warrant, they may ask your permission to search you or your property. You are not required to consent to a search and should never do so. If they perform a search without a warrant, any evidence collected is inadmissible in court.
Lack of Evidence
When police arrest you, the burden of proof lies with them. Sometimes, if officers see you near the drugs, they may assume that you are involved. But being near a drug isn’t proof that the drugs are yours. If law enforcement can’t prove that you had “constructive possession” of a drug, they cannot charge you with possession or intent to sell.
Violation of Rights
The law states that officers must read you your Miranda Rights during an arrest. Police should also not question you if they didn’t advise you of your rights. If you undergo questioning without being read your rights, your case may be thrown out of court.
Law enforcement can also violate your rights if they tricked you into admitting that you are guilty or if they do not give you the right to have your attorney present. Either of these violations can get your case dismissed.
Sometimes undercover officers or CI’s (confidential informants) will pressure you into committing a crime. If an officer or a CI pressured you to traffic drugs, your attorney might use this as a defense. But remember, this defense is not applicable in all cases.
Another thing to remember is that if police receive information from a CI, they will be reluctant to identify that person so that they can make sure their CI’s identity remains intact. However, it is your Sixth Amendment right to confront the person accusing you of the crime. The prosecution may choose to make a deal with you to avoid burning their CI.
Let Schwartz Law Help Protect Your Freedom
If none of these options fit your situation, it is always possible to reach a deal and get the charges reduced or dismissed by cooperating with the prosecution. However, it’s essential to speak with your attorney before making any decisions.
The Schwartz Law team will take the time to explain your options and make sure you are involved in and understand the strategies we are using regarding your case. Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. is a former drug crime lawyer and a former prosecutor and is ready to fight to protect your freedom. With his extensive experience, you are guaranteed to receive the best, most aggressive defense possible.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you beat your drug trafficking charge.