If you were recently arrested on criminal charges related to possession or selling of drugs, you should learn as much as possible. The following information will be helpful when you need to defend your case.
Search and Seizure
The first thing you should know is whether or not the police obtained the drugs legally. There is a law in the fourth amendment that states police can only enter your home or vehicle to search for drugs and paraphernalia if they have reasonable cause. If your lawyer can prove that the police did not have reason to enter your home and search for drugs, the alleged findings might not be considered valid evidence for your criminal case. On the other hand, if they had reasonable cause, such as a witness testimony or they found paraphernalia in your vehicle when they pulled you over, they can search your home. They can also legally search with a warrant.
There are a few different terms used for drug charges, with a common one being controlled substance. If the government refers to something as a controlled substance, it means that the distribution may be governed by law. It can be anything that has the potential for drug abuse, from prescription drugs to cocaine or methamphetamines. For example, if you were found to be in illegal possession of and were selling anabolic steroids or drugs used for their sedative qualities, you can be arrested for a controlled substance.
One of the most common drug charges is possession. This means you have a controlled substance in your home that was not prescribed to you or that is against the law to be in possession of. In order to be accused of possession, the government needs to prove that you don't have a prescription for the substance, were fully aware you had the substance in your home or vehicle, and that you had enough that could be used by yourself or to sell to others. If your roommate secretly had a controlled substance in their closet, you can't be arrested if you didn't know it was there.
You might also be accused of distribution, which means you are delivering or selling the controlled substance you were found in possession of. Distribution includes just giving it away to friends or relatives, or selling it to others. The conviction of distribution depends on how much you have, what your criminal record is, and where the drugs were found. You may get a higher punishment if you were near a school as opposed to a residential area.
Contact a criminal law attorney (such as Kirsten Swanson Atty) if you were arrested for a drug-related crime.