If you have been arrested and charged with drug possession, this can result in a felony—a serious offense with the potential for lifelong consequences. But is there a way out? What can you do to help your case to have the best possible outcome? Understanding how to beat a felony drug charge, whether you’ve been charged just with possession or also with intent to distribute, is complex and challenging for most average citizens.
Obtain Representation, Then Start Reading
While you have the right to represent yourself in court, your best option for success will be to obtain a drug charge attorney in South Carolina who is experienced in defending clients from drug charges. They will represent you in court. You should get a lawyer at your earliest convenience after an arrest for drug charges. Lawyers understand the court systems and the laws inside and out. But, gaining an understanding of South Carolina and federal laws and how they may relate to the circumstances of your specific case will be extremely helpful in assisting your attorney in building your defense case. If you understand the charges against you and the potential ways the charges can be beaten, you can provide your lawyer with helpful information that may assist them in building the best, strongest defense. Seek out a trusted legal advisor through referrals from friends, from the local legal aid society, or through internet searches, and then begin doing your research in advance of your meeting with the lawyer so that you can help them build a solid case.
The Fourth Amendment
One of the key factors that can affect your case is understanding your rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment spells out your rights as a citizen not to be subjected to unlawful “search and seizure” of yourself and your property, including your home and your vehicle. If your Fourth Amendment rights have been violated in the process of the police discovering contraband (drugs) on your person or your property, that is unlawful conduct by the police, and your case could end up being dismissed. A detailed understanding of what constitutes a lawful “reasonable suspicion” to stop someone is essential. The police must have probable cause to be able to search you and/or your property. How someone looks is not reasonable cause for search and seizure. If your lawyer can prove in court that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated, your case can be thrown out.
Know Your Record and Be Honest
If this is the first time you’ve been arrested, you have a better chance of getting the charges against you dismissed. Be honest with your lawyer about your history. No matter what your record looks like, your lawyer has to know what they are dealing with to be able to mount an adequate defense. You may have previous charges on your record, but the circumstances of your arrest could amount to simply being at the wrong place in the wrong time, allowing your lawyer to argue against the possession charge itself for example. If you have misdemeanor charges but no prior felonies, you may be eligible for a deferred prosecution program, whereby you may be able to work and follow a series of good behavior steps to eventually get your case dismissed. Your lawyer has to know the full list of crimes in your record so that they can make a recommendation to the court that will be in your best interests, and this includes taking into consideration all previous charges against you and an understanding of how that will weigh in the court’s decision.
Compromise May Be Your Win
In cases where your lawyer cannot get the charges completely dismissed, they may be able to strike a plea deal where you plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. Depending on your record, this can include probation as an option, whereby you have to abide by a certain set of rules for the length of your probationary period but at the end, your rights are returned to you and you remain a free citizen. You may have to serve jail time, but a shorter amount of time than what the original arresting charge could carry. Last, you may be able to obtain a reduced sentence if you agree to enter a drug and alcohol counseling program. These types of deals are negotiated by your lawyer with the prosecutor or judge on your case. In some cases, compromise may be the best option on how to “beat” a felony drug charge.
How To Beat A Felony Drug Charge
Despite the fear that comes when you get arrested on a drug charge, it is possible in many cases to find a way out from under the charges you face. Understanding how to win a felony drug case is a complex matter, but with an understanding of the laws of your state, a frank and honest disclosure about any past charges, and an experienced lawyer, there are many options available that can help you beat the drug charges or at least get the charges reduced.
Our skilled South Carolina drug charge lawyers bring an understanding of the specifics of South Carolina state laws for different types of drug offenses and the charges they carry, as well as a deep bench of experience in negotiating deals for their clients and, whenever possible, the ability to get charges completely dismissed through avenues such as assertion of Fourth Amendment rights. Contact The Leventis Law Firm to discuss your options for how to beat your felony drug charge.