Dealing with a drug defense case involves several steps. The client should be informed about the proceedings. It is crucial for the client to obtain a legal representative who can act immediately. Once the user is arrested, the drug defense attorney should seek out the copy of the arrest warrant. In some cases, the client does not have the copy, so the lawyer may have to get it at the clerk of court’s office.
The arrest and search license are important documents that criminal defense lawyers should see. The arrest permit indicates the name of the apprehending officer and the charges filed against the user. The legal representative of the user should also find out if a search warrant was issued prior to the arrest to examine and seize the prohibited drugs. The search warrant shall show pertinent information regarding the evidence of the possession of illegal drugs. All the information relevant to the case can be examined by the criminal lawyer and questioned in court. In some cases, the lawyer may weaken the impact of the evidence to reduce possible charges against the client or, better, to dismiss all charges. It is, however, crucial that the attending attorney be present immediately after the arrest permit is given to the client.
Once information concerning the arrest and drug confiscation is sought, the next thing is to meet the arresting officer. Possession of certain quantities of illegal drugs can be a ground for arrest. A police can arrest a person immediately for the possession of illegal drugs, which may be enough to convict the alleged owner as guilty. However, police officers and investigators are inclined to assume that the detained individual is part of a larger system of drug dealings. Hence, police officers may talk to the criminal attorney if the user can act as a witness to testify against other drug dealers. This opportunity may only last within a short time. The refusal of the client leads to his litigation as the accused.
The criminal lawyer can convince the client to act as a cooperating witness, depending on the circumstances. There are key questions that an attorney has to ask the officers. These questions include the time of the arrest, involvement of an undercover agent, issuance of a search warrant, any involvement of money, and the statement made by the client. The case usually gets complicated especially when there are other persons arrested. The user may make a statement denying ownership of the drugs discovered and seized at the scene. He/She may point the ownership to his codefendant which then, of course, the codefendant’s statement will have to be taken. Such cases can be settled within a short time if the statements given correspond to each other. These cases can take a much longer time if statements of the people involved are conflicting, as that would mean further investigations would have to be conducted.
The drug defense attorney would also have to ask his client several questions. Such questions should tackle the involvement of the user in the drug dealings and his/her willingness to participate in the progress of investigation. Defendants who are willing to cooperate may be called to reveal important information that will lead to the resolution of the case.