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Last Updated on: 5th December 2023, 02:11 pm
Fighting Cocaine Possession or Trafficking Charges? Tips from DEA Lawyers
Hey there! Dealing with drug charges is scary. Cocaine charges can totally upend your life. But take a deep breath. With a good lawyer on your side, you’ve got a fighting chance. We talked to some lawyers who previously worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). They shared insider tips on beating cocaine possession and trafficking charges.
First Things First – Don’t Panic
We know, easier said than done! But seriously, try to stay calm. Freaking out won’t help anything. Take some deep breaths. Call a lawyer. And don’t say anything to the cops until you’ve got legal counsel. Seriously, zip it! Even if you’re innocent, talking to the police can only hurt you. Let your lawyer do the talking.
The Specifics – Possession vs. Trafficking
Not all cocaine charges are created equal. There’s a big difference between possession and trafficking:
- Possession is when you have cocaine for personal use. Even a tiny amount like half a gram can lead to a possession charge.
- Trafficking is for selling or distributing cocaine. It involves larger quantities like an ounce or more. Trafficking charges are much more serious.
The penalty depends on the amount of cocaine and your criminal record. But trafficking can lead to years in prison. So you definitely need an experienced lawyer to try to avoid harsh punishment.
Possible Defenses – What Can Get You Off?
Okay, now for the good part – how to beat the charges! Here are some defenses that could get your cocaine charges dropped or reduced:
- Illegal search – If the police didn’t have a warrant or probable cause to search you, the cocaine evidence could get thrown out. Then there’s no case left.
- Entrapment – This is when police improperly tricked or coerced you into committing a crime you wouldn’t otherwise do. Judges frown on entrapment.
- Mistaken identity – If the cops nabbed the wrong person (hey, it happens!), then you’re off the hook.
- Lack of knowledge – For trafficking, prosecutors must prove you knew the substance was cocaine. If you truly didn’t know, tell your lawyer.
- Personal use – For small amounts of cocaine, you may be able to plead down to simple possession charges instead of trafficking.
- Not your drugs – If the cocaine was found in your house or car but didn’t actually belong to you, your lawyer can argue it’s not in your possession.
- Mental illness – Courts go easier on defendants with psychiatric issues like addiction, depression, etc. Your lawyer can explain how mental illness impacted your behavior.
Helpful Laws and Precedents
Certain laws and legal precedents can also help defendants fight cocaine charges:
- The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Get evidence thrown out if your rights were violated!
- The Sentencing Reform Act reduced the insane sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine.
- In Bailey v. United States, the Supreme Court made it harder to prove “use” of a drug for possession charges. Mere proximity to drugs isn’t enough.
- The Safety Valve provision allows judges to issue sentences below the mandatory minimums for some nonviolent drug offenders.
Work With Your Lawyer
Battling criminal charges is tough. But you don’t have to go it alone. Lean on your lawyer. Tell them everything that happened. Hold nothing back – even embarrassing or bad stuff you did. It’s confidential, so they can’t use it against you. Being open helps them defend you and get the best possible outcome.
Stay engaged in building your defense strategy. Your lawyer has the legal expertise, but you know the facts. Work together to figure out the smart play. And ask lots of questions if anything is confusing!
Self-Care Is Key
Finally, take care of yourself! Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Stay connected with loved ones for emotional support. Avoid drugs and alcohol, as they can make things worse. And try meditating or journaling to relieve stress.
Hang in there! With perseverance and a good lawyer, you can get through this. We believe in you. Now go fight those charges!