“You’re under arrest.”
These simple words can collapse your whole world around your ears.
The thing is, you’re not the first nor the last one to face a drug arrest. In 2017, the number of drug law violation arrests in the U.S. was approximately 1.6 million.
In order to navigate the rather complex criminal justice system in the smoothest way possible, you need to know what to expect after a drug arrest occurs.
So keep on reading to learn all about what a drug arrest entails, the dos and don’ts, as well as your rights and how to ask for them.
Drug Arrest: What to Do
We know that in that moment when it happens your first instinct is sheer panic, which brings us to the most important tip of them all.
The truth of the matter is — being charged with drug possession doesn’t mean you’re actually guilty, so panicking at that point in time will do nothing but make you look guilty.
And we want to avoid that, not just for the aesthetics, but any extreme outburst of emotion can easily lead to extra criminal charges like resisting arrest or obstruction of justice.
Use Your One Phone Call Wisely
After you regulate your breathing and try to stay calm as much as possible, the police officers will take you to the police station. Once there, you’ll get offered a phone call before being placed in a jail cell.
You have two options here. If you already have a lawyer you’re familiar with, then that’s making the most out of your phone call. If not, then make sure you don’t squander that call by calling a dependable family member or friend who can start contacting a lawyer for you.
Requesting that the court set bail for you during your arraignment is the only way to avoid staying in a jail cell for the entire length of your case.
Under your lawyer’s advisement, there is the potential of entering a plea after hearing the charges that have been filed against you, and the judge will either grant or deny you bail.
Drug Arrest: What Not to Do
There are a couple of don’ts that can make your case simpler to tackle for your lawyer, as well as avoid having any additional charges filed against you.
After providing the police with your identification, seal your mouth shut.
Your Miranda rights will be read to you, so follow them to the letter by remaining silent and stating politely that you’re choosing not to speak until an attorney is present with you.
Don’t Sign Anything
Your right to silence includes the written word, so avoid writing anything down that has the potential of harming your case.
And don’t sign anything, period.
What Are Your Rights After Getting Arrested?
You have the right to aggressively fight the charges against you.
You’re innocent until proven guilty, and it’s the prosecutor’s (in this case, the state’s) burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed a crime.
It’s the highest standard of proof in the U.S. legal system to minimize (if not idealistically, to eradicate) the number of people getting punished for a crime that they didn’t commit.
In addition, know that in the case of water-tight evidence presented against you, you do have the right to seek a plea bargain with the prosecution.
Of course, your criminal defense attorney will be with you every step of the way, as the laws change per state.
For example, the state of Georgia is known for rather tough drug laws, so your attorney will tailor their game plan according to the set of laws applicable to your case.
Ready to Get Legal Help?
Now you know all about what to expect after a drug arrest, as well as your best course of action.
Still worried about your case?
Then make sure to contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll put you on the right track.