Quick Facts: The Truth About Drug Sales Charges
- Courts take Drug Sales charges much more seriously than drug possession.
- If you cannot get the case lowered to a possession, you’re only other option is to get the lowest possible sentence. This becomes difficult when guns are involved.
- Challenging the search is harder than it sounds.
- Hire a drug crimes lawyer. Fighting a drug sales charge is no easy task.
Drug Sales = More Involved Investigation
If the person is still in jail, it helps if the lawyer can visit them to get some critical facts in the investigation before law enforcement does. If the person is out of jail, use this time (while you have it) to meet with a lawyer to discuss your options and the facts of the case. If the police are convinced the case shows strong evidence of sales, they will take the chance to find out more than the average drug case in order to go up the supply chain. This means cell phone records will be used, GPS trackers may be initiated, and the use of undercover informants will be considered if there is a glimmer of hope more evidence will come out of it.
If the Court won’t lower it to Possession, better fight for less time.
Your first day in court (the arraignment) is a crucial day where your lawyer can start your case off to a strong beginning. The classic defenses to drug sales is: the drug were not yours, wrong place/wrong time, and the client is a heavy user which is why there was so many substances found.
Even evidence that would make an average officer believe it is a drug sales case (weights, transaction notes, lots of currency), experienced investigators will know (as will prosecutors) that some drug users have heavy habits and purchase in discount quantity. But this defense must be supported through your attorney and may even have to be tested at the preliminary hearing (sometimes called a probable cause hearing) where the officers’ opinions are put to the test before the judge.
But, if it looks like the case is not heading in the direction of a possession charge, then the strategy must be taken in the direction of least possible sentence. For felony drug sales charges, the range is extreme. While some clients can manage to get away with house arrest and weekend jail confinement, others may only have the options of long periods in jail custody or a prison term. When guns are involved, whether they were used during a drug sale or not, it usually spells out trouble for the client and drastic measures must be taken to avoid mid-term and maximum term prison exposure.
Drug Sales Based on Type of Drug
As mentioned above, an officer who arrests or charges you for drug sales does not have to witness an actual transaction of narcotics. Drug sales can be proven through circumstantial evidence or other corroborating facts. Below are some drug-specific examples of drug sales cases:
Marijuana Drug Sales Cases
Marijuana sales cases carry very particularized investigations due to the cross-over legality of possessing, cultivating, and distributing medicinal marijuana (MMJ). Because of this, special attention is required to make sure law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies abide with patient rights to access their prescribed dosages and balance overreaching or profiteering. Therefore, the manner in which the marijuana sales case was investigated becomes critical in providing a strong defense.
Heroin Drug Sales Cases:
Heroin abuse has risen in the last few years, and so has the prosecution for selling it. Most communities tend to become alarmed by the presence of heroin use in their communities which is why defending someone for this charge requires particular attention and care. For reasons mentioned in other areas of this website, it should also be noted that fighting heroin sales charges is challenging due to the already limited recovery programs offered for heroin possession cases. Therefore, facing this charge should not be taken lightly by any means.
Ecstasy Drug Sales Cases:
Many clients find themselves in shock after they are arrested or charged with selling ecstasy due to the group or “community” possession of the drug. Often used in highly social settings such as dance clubs and parties, its is more likely than not that law enforcement will seize multiple tablets that could be evidenced of sales or possession “with the intent to sell”.
Methamphetamine Drug Sales Cases:
As with other illicit substances, methamphetamine sales are a byproduct of those who develop addictions or who abuse the controlled substance. With virtually countless ways a person can be arrested for possessing methamphetamine, there are countless instances where you can be charged with selling (or possessing for sale).
Prescription Pill Drug Sales Cases:
A developing area of criminal drug law is the evolving use and abuse of prescription medications. As some individuals create a dependency on painkillers or anti-anxieties, an unfortunate consequence is the sharing, distributing, and purchasing of pills from others. This opens the door to drug sales charges.
What about all this talk about Illegal Searches on the Internet?
You may be thinking that with a high priced attorney, any police search can be challenged and the evidence suppressed so they no longer have a case. Your hopes are high because you read all the cases online that describe Constitutional violations of the Fourth Amendment against unlawful search and seizure. I’m sure you’re wondering what your real chances are.
So you say the search was illegal…
With a good strategy, your lawyer will use the court conferences to build the strength of your case so that you may get extra special treatment depending on your case. During these status dates where your lawyer exchanges investigation documents, evidence, legal arguments, serves motions, and enters formal discussions for settlement. Most cases get settled on a pre-trial conference. There may be several conferences through out the life of the drug case.
But if your case is being developed as an illegal search scenario, your lawyer must initiate a strategy to obtain every witness observation (usually the officers) and be able to use that somehow during the suppression hearing to convince a judge they acted outside of the law.
In other words, the job of your defense lawyer is to convince a local judge that the local police either didn’t follow the law or were not trained well enough to know they were breaking it. Keep in mind that these are the same investigators and detectives that come into the same court every few weeks in front of the same handful of judges. Are you getting the picture?
There is a bright side to this situation however. Some agencies build reputations for taking risky investigations. In fact, some investigators become notorious for curbing the rules once in a while in order to secure an arrest. And frankly, police works is demanding and difficult, so once in a while the law is not on top of their minds whenever they are trying to do their jobs. It takes an experienced practitioner to know what cards you have and how to play them. But just because a lawyer says they can fight the supposed illegal search, doesn’t mean it’s a good investment in time and resources. After all, you are paying for the time it takes to fight that battle.
In summary, get a criminal defense lawyer with a sensible plan to fight your drug sales charges.
There are just a few effective ways to fight drug sales charges. The rest of the time, sophisticated arguments involving the Constitution will waste time and money in getting a good result for you.