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DC Drug Charge Process

In DC, those convicted of a drug offense can serve substantial incarceration time depending on the facts of their case and their personal criminal background. DC drug charges have serious ramifications. Therefore, anyone involved in the process of a DC drug charge needs to be aware that there are serious consequences and consult with an experienced DC drug attorney who is able to build their defense for them and streamline the process.

An experienced defense attorney examines the facts and circumstances closely in a case to test whether or not the officer had probable cause to charge someone with a drug offense. There are officers who overstep what they are legally permitted to do and that can create problems when they try to go forward with the case, and an attorney is necessary to discover all facts in their case and ease the process of someone’s DC drug charge.

Immediatly Following an Arrest

When someone is arrested for a drug offense like possession of controlled narcotics, the first thing they should expect in process of their DC drug charge is that the police may follow up that initial arrest by obtaining a search warrant for the person’s residence, their car, and any other property they have. The authorities are trying to find other evidence of narcotics trafficking. Once a person is under scrutiny by the government, the authorities do whatever they can to make sure they recover all evidence against that person.

Once someone is arrested for a misdemeanor offense, they might be released with a citation telling them to come back to court and their criminal case begins that way. With a felony offense, a person should expect the police officers to hold them in custody and bring them to court. They may end up spending a night or a two in custody before they can see a judge who makes a determination to release that person or continue to hold them for the next court hearing. That hearing could be several business days away.

A person can expect the government to test any drug substances found to verify that they are in fact drugs. Especially considering the widespread use of Molly and synthetic drugs, the government proceeds carefully to make sure they identify exactly what substances the person possessed so they can properly prosecute them.

Potential Mistakes Made by Law Enforcement

When law enforcement officers conduct their investigation, they must have probable cause to stop and search an individual. Sometimes officers do not make the correct decision in that regard.

Often, officers do not properly preserve the evidence or the crime scene and that can create problems for them trying to successfully prosecute a case. For example, not gathering enough evidence to properly prove which person among several actually had possession of the evidence. That is more commonly seen in a situation where a car is pulled over and there are several passengers. In a drug case, the drugs or drug paraphernalia may be located in the common area.

Sometimes the police do not document exactly how the evidence appeared or where the individuals were located with respect to the evidence. They may not document their reasons for linking the evidence to one or more specific people.

Building a Defense

When the mistake is serious enough and involves a constitutional right, the defense attorney can pursue a motion to suppress the evidence to keep it from being used in the case against their client. If that is successful, the government’s drug case is dismissed in almost every situation because the drugs in question are suppressed and excluded from the case. The suppression of evidence is a key goal of any experienced defense attorney with drug cases.

Other procedural mistakes that officers make can really cast doubt on the culpability of a specific person. Drugs are sometimes not physically found on the person but rather in some shared area such as a car or house where more than one person had ready access to that item. When the police do not properly document all evidence connecting it to a specific individual, a defense attorney has a good chance to exploit that evidence and cast doubt as to whether the government can prove their client had any specific connection to that evidence.

Anyone who knows they are being investigated for a crime or has been arrested for a crime should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to make sure a careful analysis of the facts and the law is done immediately and streamline the process of their DC drug charge.

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