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Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Drug Crimes | 0 comments

Our Drug Laws Need to be Reevaluated

A quick look at the standard list of illegal drugs (like those outlined on the Horst Law website) shows that there are serious problems with how we classify and prosecute drugs and drug crimes:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • MDMA & Ecstasy
  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroin
  • Prescription Drugs

Are all of those the same? Is marijuana as bad as heroin? Is ecstasy is invasive a drug problem as prescription drugs or methamphetamine?

Simply looking at the list makes it clear that these substances shouldn’t be on the same list together. Some of them are extremely dangerous and addictive, while others are far less so, if at all.

There’s a question whether the use of any of these should be a crime punishable by time in prison. Since addiction can make it difficult to almost impossible to stop using a substance, it’s hard to know how much choice some individuals had in using (at least after that first time). A far more ethical punishment, in my mind, would be required counseling and rehabilitation programs. Only if people didn’t comply with those would prison be threatened.

However, that is not the rule of the land, nor is it likely to be anytime soon. But, even if we are all agreed that the use of drugs deserves a prison sentence, there needs to be far more thoughtful laws put in place to allow for the severity of the drug in question. And yet, most of the above are all considered Class 1 drugs and come with mandatory minimum sentences that can destroy lives that simply don’t deserve it.

The problem, as many are coming to find, is that mandatory minimums make it impossible for the justice system to be measured in its punishment. While there are different sentences for different types of drug crime (for instance, the manufacturing of drugs, the sale of drugs, or the use of drugs), all of them come with tough sentences that have done little or nothing to limit the spreading of the use of drugs in the first place.

This last point deserves to be highlighted. Tough sentences were put in place in an effort to limit use by the threat of severe punishment. This effort has failed. As the prescription drug crisis is proving, all communities are at risk of drug abuse issues, and those risks are not negated by the potential for serious jail time.

If severe sentences don’t keep drugs off the street, then the country ought to resort to another strategy by removing mandatory minimums and reclassifying drugs. Again, more treatment options would be an excellent addition to these changes, but at very least, recognition should be made that these drugs are not all the same, and they do not pose the same risks to individuals and communities.

Should the laws be more proportional to the crime, there might be more room for people to come forward for treatment with less risk of jail time. Since getting people off drugs and getting drugs off the street is the ultimate goal, this seems like a far better outcome than the status quo.

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Posted by on Jun 16, 2017 in Drug Crimes | 0 comments

Possible Defenses to Drug Possession Charges

Drug crimes may not be on the same level as murder and rape, but they are some of the most controversial crimes in existence. This is especially true for drug trafficking, because other people are already involved, while a simple possession for personal use can have less severe consequences.

But whatever kind of drug crime you do, it doesn’t change the fact that you will have to face the consequences. It is tragic, particularly on cases that are just exaggerated and misunderstood. You can still be wrongfully charged, convicted, and suffer the unwarranted consequences. It is a good thing that, according to the website of these Nashville drug crimes lawyers, drug crimes can be defended.

Trafficking may be more complicated, but possession for personal use may be a lot easier to defend. Below are some of the most common defenses for drug possession charges.

Viability of Search and Seizure

The searching and founding of the drug should be lawful and with consent, like when the victim has allowed police officers to search his car, or when the drug is in plain sight during a legal stop. If the search and seizure is unlawful, all evidence found during this act may be unusable in court.

Drug Ownership

It can also be argued that the drug found by the authorities does not belong to the alleged suspect. So, even if the search and seizure is lawful and the authorities have found drugs, it is not a guarantee that the drugs belong to the alleged suspect, especially if there are other people in the search and seizure area.

Drug Legitimacy

It is called drug possession. The possession part has been covered by the previous entry, so the drug part should also be addressed. The drug found in the lawful search and seizure should also be proven to be legitimate, because even though a product looks like a drug, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it truly is. A proper lab analysis should be done. Improper procedures can also cast doubt on results.

 

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Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Criminal Defense Laws | 0 comments

How Can I Be Convicted for Conspiracy?

It is a common misconception that it takes the actuation of a crime in order to be convicted for it. This can make it quite easy for people to incriminate themselves upon questioning from a federal agent who may be investigating probable cause in order to prevent a crime being committed.

In the United States, there are many agencies in places in order to keep track of criminal activity and to thwart the acts before they can take place but sometimes, even people who didn’t even know they were involved in a conspiracy can be convicted of it at a federal level, which could mean 25 years of jail time without chance of parole. It can take just planning an illegal act to be convicted at a federal level and that is why it is important to be wary.

If federal agents come calling or knocking on your door, it is always advisable to exercise your right to the 5th and 6th amendment – the right to remain silent and the right to receive counsel – before fully cooperating with them in order to protect yourself from potentially incriminating yourself of anything.

According to the website of the Kohler Hart Powell, SC criminal defense lawyers, conspiracy is a crime at a federal level and being a defendant in a federal court can be one of the most emotionally stressful situations a person could ever go through.

The entire ordeal is grueling and complicated if it were to go to trial and so it is important to receive representation immediately in order to avoid making civilian, potentially incriminating mistakes. Most people do not understand the kinds of resources that federal agents have and can use even the slightest confirmation in order to charge you of a crime. It is important to cooperate in order to not be charged with obstruction of justice but it is still your first priority to take care of yourself, above and beyond.

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Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Criminal Defense Laws | 0 comments

Guns Can Get You in Trouble in Wisconsin

It is not terribly hard to own and openly carry a gun in Wisconsin; in most cases, you will not even need a license. According to the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC, however, there are circumstances when it is illegal to bring a gun. It is important to know these circumstances and what the consequences are in case of failure to follow the law.

Wisconsin law (Stat. Ann. § 941.23(2)(e)) requires a permit to carry a concealed gun on or around your person, unless you are on your property such as your home, business place, vehicle, or any other private property. If you do not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, you can be arrested and charged with a class A misdemeanor. In some circumstances, this can be elevated to a felony.

The law also prohibits certain people from owning and carrying a firearm. These include anyone:

  • Less than 18 years old
  • Convicted of a felony in Wisconsin, or conviction in any state for a crime which is a felony in Wisconsin
  • Adjudicated as a juvenile that would have been a felony if committed by an adult
  • Found not guilty in a criminal case by reason of mental disease or defect
  • Statutory prohibitions

Carrying a firearm in the company of any of the classes of people mentioned above is also illegal, and can cost you as much as $25,000 in fines and/or 10 years in prison. That is a bad break if you were not aware that an individual belongs to these prohibited classes. However, a competent criminal defense lawyer may get you off.

It is also illegal to carry firearms in certain areas. These include:

  • Prisons, jails, and detention centers
  • Mental health facilities
  • Courthouses
  • Airports
  • Bars and other retail establishments selling alcohol

The penalties for violating gun laws in Wisconsin can be pretty stiff, with fines ranging from $500 to $10,000, and jail terms from 30 days to nine months. You may simply not know the law, but that is not a defense. However, it may be possible to plead mitigation, especially if you are a non-resident. This is why it is important to have a competent lawyer to represent you.

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Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Criminal Defense Laws | 0 comments

The Influence of a Criminal Conviction on Your Life

“Crime doesn’t pay” has been an adage for as long as the concept of justice has been conceived. However, one mistake in this day and age – no matter if it was committed in the height of youth’s recklessness and arrogance-born belief of invincibility – can ruin a person’s life forever. A criminal conviction, in some circumstances, can be as harsh as a death sentence. In some instances, it might even be crueler – to live in a land so rich with milk and honey and be unable to have the opportunity to toil for it, no matter how hard you try and repent.

According to the website of the Bruno Law Offices, the influence of a conviction can ripple profoundly throughout a person’s life – and the lives of the convict’s family, even after they have served the allotted jail time – that might not, at first, be obvious. Some people might think that the punishment has been well and duly served in jail already – sometimes, all people will see of you are the bars whence you came and served your time.

If you are with a partner and wish to have a child but are incapable of having one, having a criminal conviction on your record could hinder you from adopting or any other means of obtaining a child and starting a family. Loans and housing benefits may be completely out of the picture. Job opportunities can be limited as it is in the standard protocol to check any history of criminal activity, no matter how long ago the crime may have occurred or how old the offender was.

The thing is – proper representation can make or break the case with which could determine if you can live the rest of your life with some kind of peace. To err his only human, after all, but in a court of law – any wrongdoing can be exaggerated to the nth degree if improperly investigated or handled. A few errors can mean the end of it all and that is what makes expert legal help so important in situations like this.

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