If you’re facing federal drug charges, then you’ve got a long, hard road ahead of you. Sure, much of the country, including California, has relaxed some of its drug laws, especially those pertaining to marijuana, but the federal government still cracks down hard on those they believe are engaged in drug trafficking across national and state borders. The penalties for being convicted on federal drug charges can be severe, too, including years, perhaps even decades, behind bars, fines that can financially ruin you, and a mark on your criminal record that will haunt you for the rest of your life.
That’s pretty scary, isn’t it? It’s best, though, that you truly know what’s at stake before delving into your case so that you know which course of action is best for you. The good news is that there may be a number of criminal defense options available to you. Knowing what they are and how best to utilize them might motivate you to fight for your freedom and your future.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common criminal defense strategies that can be utilized to fight federal drug charges:
- Argue illegal search and seizure: Even federal agents have to follow the law. When they stop you or your vehicle for a search without probable cause to do so, then they’ve violated your constitutional rights. In these circumstances, you might be able to suppress any evidence gathered subsequent to the illegal action.
- Argue illegal wiretapping: Oftentimes, federal authorities spend a significant amount of time building drug trafficking cases. Sometimes the evidence used against accused individuals comes from recorded telephone calls. Wiretapping is strictly regulated, though, and any misstep by federal agents can lead to the suppression of otherwise damaging evidence.
- Challenge witness credibility: In many cases, federal prosecutors’ cases depend on the testimony of drug dealers, drug addicts, and police officers with questionable histories. Sometimes jailhouse informants are used. The credibility of these individuals can be suspect, especially if they are being given something in return for testifying, such as immunity or a reduced sentence. You need to know how to draw out these credibility issues and exploit them to your benefit.
- Fight the statutory elements: In order to obtain a conviction, a prosecutor has to prove the elements of the crime charge. This might sound easy, but it can actually be quite tough. This is especially true when it comes to proving intent. Prosecutors often have to rely on circumstantial evidence to show that an accused individual intended to act in a certain way. By knowing the law, you can identify prosecutorial weaknesses and attack them to the best of your ability.
- Consider negotiating resolution: Aggressive criminal defense law firms like ours are willing to aggressively fight at trial to protect the futures of accused individuals. However, sometimes going to trial isn’t in an individual’s best interest. If the evidence is simply insurmountable, then it might be time to consider negotiating some sort of deal that minimizes penalties as fully as possible. Obviously, this isn’t the most desirable outcome, so discuss it with your criminal defense attorney to figure out if this is a route that is right for you.
These are just a few of the many criminal defense options that might be available to you when facing federal drug charges. It’s normal to fear for your future in this situation, but you might find some comfort after speaking with an aggressive criminal defense attorney who knows how to fight for you. Therefore, if you’re about to go head-to-head with federal prosecutors, then you might want to research and consult with a law firm that you think will aggressively fight for what is best for you and your family.