Being charged with a drug crime may have a significant impact on your life in both the near and long-term. A conviction could bring both jail time and other collateral consequences that can complicate many things for you going forward. However, a conviction is by no means a certainty when you are facing criminal charges. An experienced drug criminal defense attorney, like the ones at Hogan Eickhoff, can provide you with a vigorous legal defense in the hopes of achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Drug Crime Defense Attorney in Appleton, WI

Your Rights in an Appleton, WI Drug Crimes Case

You have a number of rights in a criminal case that are either explicitly guaranteed to you by the Constitution or come from judicial interpretations. In a drug case, your rights include:

  • The right not to be questioned without your attorney present
  • The right to a lawyer if you request one
  • The right to be free from an illegal search and seizure
  • Protection against self-incrimination
  • The right to a fair trial
  • The right to confront the witnesses testifying against you

You Should Contact an Attorney Right After Your Case

The first thing that you would do after you are arrested on a drug offense is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. At the outset, your lawyer would review your case. They would help you evaluate your legal options and determine whether there are any defenses that you can use in court.

The Prosecutor Must Prove Each Element of the Charges

In order to convict you of drug charges, the prosecutor would need to prove the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. They are the party who has the burden of proof. If they cannot meet this burden, you cannot be convicted. Drug crimes require that you have knowledge and intent. The prosecutor must show that you knew that you had illegal drugs in your possession.

You Can Challenge the Seizure of the Evidence Being Used Against You

Drug offense cases all come down to the evidence being used against you. In practically every case, law enforcement has seized drugs that they are trying to use as evidence. One defense strategy is to challenge the actual seizure. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives you the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Unless a valid exception applies, law enforcement needs a warrant that is based on probable cause to conduct a search.

In many drug cases, the prosecutor is claiming that an exception to the warrant requirement applies. Here, you would argue that the evidence was illegally seized in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Perhaps police even had a search warrant or a legal right to conduct a search, but they went too far.

If you are able to prove that police illegally searched and seized evidence, you may be able to have the evidence suppressed by the judge. The court may throw out all evidence that was the result of an illegal search as the “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

Challenging the Witnesses Testifying Against You

In addition to physical evidence, such as drugs, the prosecutor may also be relying on witness testimony. When you are dealing with drug charges, the witnesses who are lined up to testify against you may have their own legal issues. Someone who has a long criminal record may not be the most credible witness in a case. You may try to attack the credibility of the witnesses testifying against you and discredit them as best as you can.

Arguing That You Were Entrapped

Drug charges often originate from an undercover operation where police either try to buy or sell drugs. According to the Supreme Court, the government may not “originate a criminal design, implant in an innocent person’s mind the disposition to commit a criminal act, and then induce commission of the crime so that the Government may prosecute.” You may use entrapment as a complete defense to the criminal charge.

Negotiating with the Prosecutor

Just because the law states that you can receive up to a certain amount of prison time for a drug crime does not mean that you are automatically going to jail. If you negotiate a deal and you plead guilty, you may avoid the harshest possible sentence. You may even be able to avoid jail time altogether.

The prosecutor wants to win a conviction without having to take the case to trial. Litigating in court takes resources. While the prosecutor may have the necessary resources to try your case, they may want to devote their manpower elsewhere. Therefore, they will offer plea bargains in many cases. The prosecutor may offer a better plea bargain when you have an experienced attorney negotiating with them on your behalf.

Your Case Could Go Through Drug Court for Treatment

Wisconsin even has drug courts for non-violent offenders that are meant to help you rehabilitate, as opposed to punishing you with jail time. There is a chance that you could end up in drug court with treatment. The charges may even be dismissed if you complete the terms of your treatment.

There are consequences for pleading guilty to any crime. You may end up with a criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. You may have trouble finding a job, and you could face other collateral consequences. Your lawyer will explain the ramifications of a guilty plea before you accept any deal from the prosecutor.

Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Attorney for Legal Help

If you have been arrested and charged with drug crimes, you need immediate legal representation in your case. The criminal defense attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff can help you present a strong legal defense to the charges against you, no matter how you decide to respond. We provide attentive and responsive service during this difficult time in your life. You can schedule a free initial consultation with a lawyer by calling us today at (920) 450-9800 or by contacting us on our website.