Have you been given a drug charge? Here are a few questions you need to ask your drug possession attorney.
With more than 1.5 million arrests per year, drug possession is filling up our courts in a serious way. No matter how you feel about the drug laws, it's a serious issue that needs to be dealt with and you can only really understand how bad it is once you're in it. If you're having to deal with a drug possession attorney, it's a sure thing that you're about to get your hands dirty with drug law in Montgomery County.
To know what you're in for under these Texas laws, ask your lawyer these four questions.
1. What Are the Charges?
When you first sit down with your attorney, you need to find out just how serious the charges are against you. Your attorney should be able to break things down for you to let you know what you're being charged with and what kind of road you have ahead of you.
There could be a lot of legal jargon, but any questions you have about the seriousness of the crimes should be answered by your attorney. They should be able to look at your record to determine what kind of time or what kind of fines you face. If you're caught possessing a certain amount, you could be swimming in a different class of cases.
If you don't feel comfortable talking with your attorney about your case, that should be a sign that you've found the wrong lawyer. You need a representative who understands you and whose main goal is to help you not only understand the case but to win it. If they don't seem sympathetic to you, that emotion is going to influence the judge and the prosecution's case against you.
2. What Is Their Legal History?
You're fully within your rights to ask any lawyer representing you about their legal history. You can find out where they went to school, how long they've been practicing law, and what their experience is with cases like yours. You should find all of these things out before you start working with them.
Reputable lawyers will be happy to talk about cases they've helped win and people who are free because of the work they've done. They'll give you references to clients so that you can talk to them yourself.
The history of someone's practice is the only real way you can ensure that you're getting the kind of representation that you need. If you don't feel like they have enough experience or it seems like they're trying to charge you too much for what they can offer, look elsewhere. There are lots of experienced defense attorneys who know the laws well and can find ways to help you stay out of jail.
3. What's Their Plan?
If your lawyer is going to be open about anything regarding your case, it should their plan on how they're going to defend you. They need to have a strategy that takes your personal situation into account and an outline for what can work. They need potential defenses lined up and ready to deploy.
Talk over the potential defenses and the position you should take. Pleading guilty gives you fewer options but if you plead not guilty, you could be in for a long and grueling trial. If you're not up to that or putting your family through that, you might need to pursue other actions.
They should let you know what the goals are for your case. There are going to be some goals that are achievable and others that aren't as easy to achieve. They should be able to outline what the chances are for reaching each potential goal.
There are likely to be weaknesses in your case and they need to be open with you about them. Once you've decided who you want to work with, you need to be honest with one another and talk openly about how badly things can go. It's easy to imagine winning but it's much harder to achieve if you don't have a plan outlined.
You need to also ensure that the attorney you're speaking with is going to be the person handling your case. Some larger firms will push the work off to an intern or a paralegal. If this is the case, you could get an amateur's work on a very sensitive case, which might not be worth what you're paying.
4. What Are My Rights and Alternatives?
Each choice you make is going to come with consequences when you're charged with drug possession. If you plead guilty, in some cases it means drug treatment. In others, it means years of jail time.
You need to learn about what alternatives are open to a case like yours. There are both laws and legal precedents to consider. Every municipality has judges that use their own discretion, with some judges ruling much more harshly than others.
While you're in jail or under the supervision of the criminal justice system after an arrest, you don't give up all of your rights. You might be put under house arrest or you might be put in jail while you await trial. If you can't afford to pay for bail, see if your lawyer can help lower the amount or finagle a way for you to spend time with family.
When you're out of jail and awaiting your trial, you have the opportunity to get treatment and perform community service that can greatly impact your case.
A Drug Possession Attorney Is There to Serve
If it's hard to communicate with your drug possession attorney or they don't seem interested in helping you understand the issues you're facing, find someone else. Your attorney should be there with the interest in helping you solve your issues, not making it more complicated.
If you were searched under reasonable suspicion, check out the differences between that and probable cause to help build your case.