What To Expect If You Are Arrested For Possession Of Illegal Substances
If you have been arrested for possession of illegal substances, it is important to contact an attorney as quickly as possible in order to understand your rights and prevent the full legal ramifications of your accused crime. Luckily, in order to be convicted, your prosecutor must prove that you were actually in possession of illegal substances, and with a lawyer, there are many ways to fight their proof. Learn what to expect if you have been arrested for possession of illegal substances and get informed about the best course of action to take.
When Would You Be Arrested for Drug Possession?
There are laws in every state that prohibit the possession and sale of controlled substances. This includes drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. The catch is that drug crimes are considered federal offenses. Federal crimes are serious offenses, and could result in you holding a lifetime prison sentence.
Aside from the federal charge, laws surrounding drug possession vary by state, county, and city. However, most laws center around three main charges: manufacturing, trafficking, and possessing illegal substances.
Arrest for Manufacturing Illegal Substances
A person can be apprehended for manufacturing illegal substances when the government believes they had a part in cultivating the substance. This includes growing, possessing, or gathering ingredients in order to make the illegal substance. This also applies to chemical processes, such as owning or using a laboratory to make methamphetamine.
Arrest for Trafficking Illegal Substances
Being arrested for trafficking illegal drugs means that the person under investigation is accused of selling, delivering, or providing the substances illegally. Usually, an arrest occurs when a person is selling in the presence of a cop. The consequences of distributing illegal drugs depend on the type and amount of illegal substances involved and the location where the defendant was arrested, as well as the defendant’s criminal history.
Arrest for Possessing Illegal Substances
‘Possession’ describes exactly what the charge is – being apprehended for possessing illegal substances. This is the most common drug charge. To convict, the prosecution has to prove that the defendant has knowingly and intentionally possessed an illegal substance (without a prescription) in a large enough quantity for personal use or sale. In most states, it is also illegal to possess drug paraphernalia, such as syringes, scales, and pipes. Possession of these objects alone can warrant a felony.
What to Remember After Being Arrested for Possession of Illegal Substances
The Right to Remain Silent
It’s important to understand your rights after being arrested, and above all, this means your Miranda Rights. The first Miranda right is that you have the ‘right to remain silent’. It’s important after your arrest to stay quiet, as anything you say can – and will – be used against you. Communicate to law enforcement that you wish to not respond to any queries until you have the presence of legal counsel. This will prevent the prosecution from cherry-picking your responses to form a case against you.
It’s also important to stay as calm as possible after your arrest. Getting emotional can lead to you saying things that can possibly be held against you. Your arrest should go as smoothly and transparently as possible – if you haven’t, ask the police why they’re arresting you. Police can hold you in custody for up to 24 hours without charge. After a day, they have to either charge or release you.
Searches and Interviews
Remember that being arrested is not the same as being charged for an offense. However, at the station, the police are allowed to take the following from you, whether you’re innocent or charged with a crime:
- Your Identification (name, age)
- DNA Samples (oral and skin swabs)
Other than these items, the police are not able to extract anything else from you without consent. Remember that body searches can only be carried out with your consent (unless you have illegal paraphernalia in plain sight). This means that they are not allowed to take off or search your clothes.
If the police question you, the interview will be recorded – so, as mentioned before, it’s important to not say anything that could incriminate you. The simplest way to do this is to plead the 5th and request the presence of your lawyer before responding.
Calling Your Legal Defense
It is often said that when you’re arrested, you’re allowed to make one phone call. This is actually partly true – you’re allowed to make two calls – one to your family or friends to let them know you are in jail, and another to your solicitor. Call your lawyer immediately and ask for legal advice, and for them to come to your aid as soon as possible. This way, you and your defense can plan an immediate course of action against any possible drug charge the government makes.
Expert Criminal Defense Attorney in New York & New Jersey
If you are currently facing criminal allegations such as possession of illegal substances, you need a strong and competent defender by your side. Mario Gallucci of The Gallucci Law Firm has over 30 years of experience in Criminal Law, including cases of assault and battery, domestic violence, murder, and more. An illegal drug crime can lead to a lifetime jail sentence – avoid this consequence by having the fiercest representation on your side. Contact the Gallucci Law Firm today to schedule a legal consultation so we can assess your individual case and determine the best way to protect your rights.