Kennesaw Drug Crime Lawyer
For decades, drug crime laws in Georgia have been on a seesaw. In the late 1980s, mostly in response to the sudden overdose death of basketball standout Len Bias, lawmakers passed extremely harsh laws. Many people served long prison terms for relatively minor offenses. In the early 2010s, officials rolled back many of these laws and former President Barack Obama pardoned many of these offenders. Now, the seesaw is moving the other direction, mostly in response to the opioid epidemic.
Andrew Schwartz, a diligent Kennesaw drug crime lawyer, isn’t on a seesaw. Come what may, his team is firmly committed to protecting individual rights against government overreach. He uses the same approach in all criminal matters. He thoroughly prepares a defense and, once the case goes to court, he won’t relent until he obtains the best possible results under the circumstances. This result could be a complete dismissal of charges, a not guilty verdict at trial, or a plea to a lesser included offense.
Simple possession accounts for about 80 percent of the drug crime arrests in Cobb County. Officers aggressively pursue these charges because they erroneously believe they’re easy to prove in court. The defendant either had or didn’t have drugs. But a good Kennesaw drug crimes lawyer knows that possession cases have several moving parts. Prosecutors must:
- Produce the Substance in Court: Physical evidence is only admissible in court if officers had a valid search warrant or a narrow search warrant exception, like owner consent, applied.
- Prove it was Illegal: Officers perform “field tests” that are usually sensory tests (e.g. it looks like drugs). That’s not enough. Marijuana is a good example. Legal hemp and illegal marijuana are physically identical. Only a chemical THC content test distinguishes the two.
- Establish Legal Possession: Proximity isn’t enough. Prosecutors must also prove knowledge and control, and they must prove these elements beyond any reasonable doubt. If Alicia was in the back seat and drugs were in the glove compartment, she probably didn’t know about them. She almost definitely didn’t control them.
In Cobb County, drug possession cases usually go to specialized drug courts. Jurors in these courts often view drug possession as a health and safety issue instead of a criminal law issue. Therefore, it’s even harder to prove the elements of possession.
We mentioned the opioid epidemic and its effect on drug laws above. Drug trafficking charges could hold up in court even if no money changes hands, like one friend giving another friend a few leftover Vicodin pills.
Drug manufacturing cases often involve lengthy, multi-agency investigations. Since officials use so many resources in such investigations, they’re anxious to make arrests, even if they must take shortcuts to do so. These shortcuts could include the search and seizure issues mentioned above.
Specifically, many warrants in these cases over-rely on paid informer testimony. Informants usually receive money or leniency in exchange for information. Many people will say almost anything for love or money. Therefore, such warrants are almost always legally unreliable.
Count on a Thorough Cobb County Lawyer
An arrest isn’t the same thing as a conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced drug crime lawyer in Kennesaw, contact Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. Convenient payment plans are available.