Whether you or a loved one is under investigation, has been accused, or has already been convicted of a drug offense but is looking to appeal the case, facing federal charges is a difficult, stressful, and highly emotional situation. In effect, federal drug charges mean that the U.S. Government is saying you did something wrong (trafficking or manufacturing controlled substances, for instance) and that you or your loved one needs to spend a significant amount of time in prison, away from family and community. It is, therefore, understandable to feel frightened at the possibility of years behind bars and a felony on your criminal record. Nonetheless, there are some things you should know before undergoing the federal indictment process.
Your Constitutional rights are there to protect you, and knowing and using your rights is one of the best defenses against federal law enforcement officers who have overstepped their bounds. One of the most important rights that you can employ whether you’re under investigation or under arrest is your Fifth Amendment’s right to remain silent. Everything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law, and, therefore, you should only talk to law enforcement or prosecutors with your defense attorney present.
Furthermore, you should be aware of your Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights. If the alleged drugs are found due to an illegal search and seizure, your defense attorney can initiate a motion to suppress the physical evidence and hopefully get the charges dropped.
Many alleged offenders facing federal drug crimes feel that it is not necessary to tell their private attorney or public defender the truth regarding the circumstances regarding the case. Regardless of your role in the alleged offense, we at Grabel & Associates uphold the presumption of innocence (innocent until proven guilty in a court of law). Moreover, everything that you tell your lawyer is considered privileged information and cannot be shared with others. Being honest with your attorney and disclosing everything that you can about the incident related to the arrest will only help the attorney build a stronger case.
Once you are under investigation or arrest, you may encounter countless people offering free legal advice. Even after you’re arrested, and before your trial, it is very common for other inmates to give legal advice as well. It is especially important to be wary of other inmates who immediately proclaim to have your best interests in mind; in many past cases, that inmate was only looking for information to hopefully lower his own sentence. Furthermore, when it comes to free advice from family, friends, or others, keep in mind that they might not know all the details of the case and may be misinformed. Therefore, you should only consider the legal advice from your defense lawyer or another approved individual representing you.
As mentioned above, being arrested for federal drug charges can make a whole array of bad emotions swell up within you. The most important thing you can do, however, is to take care of yourself first and realize the difficult situation that you are in. Also, you should realize how you are confronting the situation (what’s going on within you). As such, it may be helpful to speak about these issues with a therapist. By dealing with these feelings, you will make this experience much better, you will get along better with the people around you (loved ones and friends), and, consequently, you will make better decisions about your case.
The last piece of advice for people facing federal drug charges is to be diligent and make an informed decision when choosing your attorney. With the possibility of years behind bars ahead of you, your choice of a criminal defense lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life. The federal drug lawyers at Grabel & Associates have years of experience dealing with federal drug crimes, and we have the resources and are prepared to devote extensive resources to every aspect of the case, from aggressive legal representation in the court and at the negotiation table to diligent investigative capabilities.
No matter the time or the day, you can contact Grabel & Associates in Lansing, MI at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online. Free consultations are available.