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What You Need To Know If Charged With a Federal Drug Crime

What You Need To Know If Charged With a Federal Drug Crime

A federal drug charge is a serious criminal matter. Crimes under federal law can carry greater punishment than under state law, with numerous sentence enhancing factors and no possibility of parole. They require a great deal of review and preparation. This article will look at the types of drugs and criminal activities subject to federal prosecution, the possible punishment, and ways to challenge or resolve a federal drug charge.

Federal drug crimes are classified in the Controlled Substances Act, a 1970 law that establishes enforcement and regulation of drugs, and defines the criminal penalties for unauthorized use or possession. The Act categorizes drugs into five groups, or schedules. Schedule I drugs carry the greatest penalties, and include drugs such as heroin, marijuana, and LSD. These are considered to have the greatest potential for abuse. Schedule II drugs also carry a high potential for abuse but have some accepted use in medicine. These can include cocaine, methadone, and methamphetamine. Schedule III, IV, and V drugs have, in descending order, less potential for abuse and some accepted use in medicine. Drugs in these schedules include anabolic steroids, Valium, Xanax, and Codeine.

Federal drug crimes can include a wide range of activities such as possession, sale, manufacture, distribution, trafficking, importation, and prescription fraud. Also included are attempt and conspiracy to commit these offenses. Any type of manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with the intent to distribute illegal drugs is a crime. It is also a crime to operate a facility for the purpose of manufacturing or distributing illegal drugs. Being involved with others who are distributing narcotics, even if the involvement if minimal, can be a crime as a continuing criminal enterprise. It is important to understand that federal drug statutes criminalize many types of activities.

Punishment for a federal drug crime is going to be determined by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, a complex system that takes into account and gives weight to various factors of the case and the accused. The two primary factors are the conduct associated with the offense and the defendant’s prior criminal history, if any. Once the offense level and prior history are determined, the defendant’s sentencing range can be established. His or her sentence will be set within this range, and there is discretion for the judge to go higher or lower in the range based on numerous factors such as the location of the offense, whether a firearm was involved, and whether anyone was injured. An accused may be eligible for a lesser sentence based on their cooperation with the government.

Because of the severe punishment potential in a federal drug charge, it is important to thoroughly review the case. Many drug arrests are based on searches and seizures by the police, and under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution these searches and seizures must be reasonable. That is, in order to obtain the evidence the police must have had probable cause or a valid warrant. Without this, the evidence can be challenged and thrown out through a motion to suppress. However, if the accused wishes to accept responsibility and avoid going to trial, a plea may be entered with the chance of receiving an alternative sentence such as probation.…

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How Does the Miranda Warning Help the Accused?

How Does the Miranda Warning Help the Accused?

Individuals who are placed under arrest or accused of a crime should be given the Miranda warning, also referred to as Miranda rights. The Miranda warning reminds individuals of their inherent rights granted by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from making self-incriminating statements and reserves the individual’s right to remain silent during interrogations and trial.

The Sixth Amendment protects the individual’s right to seek legal counsel and be represented by an attorney of their choice or obtain the services of a court appointed public defender. Together, these constitutional rights apply to all individuals during any involvement with the police unless they are waived. The Supreme Court requires police officers to warn individuals that waiving their rights could be damaging to their case and used as evidence against them during a trial. In some states, police officers are also required to ask if the accused understand their legal rights.

It is important that anyone who is arrested or becomes detained reserves their rights and remains silent until conferring with an attorney. Once the Miranda warning is given, anything the individual says becomes admissible evidence and could cast a negative light onto their case. A recent ruling by the Supreme Court requires individuals to explicitly state their intentions on remaining silent and wanting the help of a lawyer. Individuals who have agreed to speak with police may stop talking at any time and invoke their rights, but anything said prior to this can be used against them. Persons who are unfortunate enough to be arrested should do a few things in order to protect themselves and their case. The first and most important thing to do is remain calm. Arrests usually come as a surprise, but getting upset and unruly only intensifies the situation and keeps individuals from making sound decisions. The second thing individuals should do is invoke their right to remain silent.

The accused should simply state their intention to use their constitutional right and say nothing else. It is never worth explaining your innocence or speaking about the accusations because it can only be damaging. There is no legal penalty for remaining silent, so this right should be reserved in all situations. The third thing people should do is seek the guidance of a skilled criminal lawyer.

Convictions and jail time hinge on the effectiveness of an individual’s legal representation. By hiring a criminal lawyer or an experienced DWI attorney, individuals receive immediate advice on their case and help throughout the legal process from professionals who have fought similar cases in the past. Attorneys specialize in assault, sex offenses, DWI, and other charges, and are ready to take on new cases all the time. Being arrested or accused of a crime can leave you feeling helpless, but getting legal assistance will begin the process of recovery.…

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Cell Phone Ban While Driving

Cell Phone Ban While Driving

As of January 1 this year in British Columbia it’s a mass return to listening to our radio stations in our cars. Our provincial government passed a law prohibiting the use of hand-held devices while driving. That’s right, we now have our own cell phone ban.

It turns out though that all of us in BC will effectively have a one-month grace period until police officers issue tickets. I suppose the one-month grace period is designed to give us 30 days to put into practice the art of driving without being on the phone.

In case you’re wondering, the law in BC applies to hand-held devices, not hands-free devices. This mean you can drive and talk as long as the device you’re talking into is not in your hand.

Don’t take this law lightly. It’s easy for officers to spot hand-held use and fine is an expensive $167. Surely a chat while you drive is not worth $167. If you have a learners or a novice licence, you’re really stuck without a chatting option. The new law mandates that both hand-held and hands-free devices are denied to you.

For some of you who don’t understand why our government would pass a law, consider looking into some of the statistics about cell phone use and texting while driving. The numbers are pretty staggering; many, many, many people have been maimed, killed, and badly hurt in horrific car accidents caused by distracted drivers using their cell phones.

After watching other jurisdictions pass similar laws, our BC government decided to follow suit in Fall 2009, which is when our hand-held-device-while-driving-law was passed. Our culture of instant communication and connection will make it difficult for people (I suspect) to simply let their cell phones ring to voice mail while driving. We like answering the phone; we expect people to be available.

It seems to me the timing of this new law is good (although if it could have prevented car accidents in the past it’s too bad it took this long) because of the prevalence of internet on our phones. Not only do we talk on our phones, we can practically do anything digital on our phones.…

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Criminal Lawyer – How to Find the Best

Criminal Lawyer – How to Find the Best

Choosing a criminal lawyer is not something you should do on a whim. When you are facing serious charges and the potential jail time, it is essential to find someone with excellent training and a high level of skill. As you begin the process of looking for one, here are the factors you need to keep in mind.

First, as you begin your search, look for an attorney who practices in the area where you were charged, even if that is not necessarily the area where you live. You can begin with a simple online search for a criminal lawyer and the appropriate location. Usually the top three or four firms that show up in the search results are experienced, professional firms.

However, do not assume that an attorney is right for you simply because he or she gets the top spot in Google. Instead, use that as a starting point, and scour the website to see what the individual’s credentials are. Make sure they fit the crime you have been charged with. For instance, if a particular attorney is highly skilled in DUI cases, but you are charged with battery, you need to find a different attorney.

Once you have found one who seems to be a good fit, search online for the attorney’s name. Find out if there are any complaints or good reviews for the attorney. Seeing what others who have worked with the individual have to say can help you make a more informed decision.

When you are close to making your decision, call the firms on your list and ask if they provide a free consultation. Then, ask whom you will be speaking with at the consultation. Choose a firm that will allow you to speak to the attorney at your consultation. Remember, if you choose to use them as your criminal lawyer, they stand to make a significant amount of money, so they should offer you this free “interview.”

When you talk to the attorney, find out what types of published articles or other documents they have. Highly published attorneys are highly skilled in their areas of expertise. Similarly, if they work as a commentator or legal analyst for something like a radio station or TV news network, you can feel confident that they know their stuff. Finally, learn how many acquittals they have gotten for their clients. Attorneys who fight hard for their clients get acquittals, so this is the sign of a good one.

Finally, go with your gut. You need to feel, without a doubt, that you can trust your criminal lawyer. They will be the one you explain all the details of your case to, and they will be the one instructing you on how to proceed. If you feel confident and at ease with the attorney, that will go far in helping you win your case. If you feel uncomfortable with the attorney, you are going to struggle throughout the process. So, if everything else lines up and points to the attorney as highly skilled and knowledgeable in the area of law you need, trust your instincts as you make the final choice.…

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Selecting a Criminal Lawyer: 4 Things to Know

Selecting a Criminal Lawyer: 4 Things to Know

You have been arrested. You realize that your livelihood, your family, your freedom is on the line. You must get a criminal lawyer. But how do you know how to select a criminal lawyer? You need to ask the right questions. Below are the four critical things to know before selecting your criminal defense attorney.

1. Does the Criminal Lawyer you are interested in specialize in your specific criminal area.

It is good to have a well balanced attorney. But does your crime lawyer have the specific experience representing those accused of the particular crime you are accused of? For example, if you were arrested for DUI, it would be wise to secure a criminal lawyer with extensive experience representing those accused of DUI. In fact, don’t be afraid to be even more specific. If you believe that your defense to your DUI was involuntary intoxication, for example, ask your criminal lawyer if he has any experience with that particular defense.

2. Determine What qualities in a criminal attorney are important to you.

Of course everyone wants the best deal they can possibly get. But there are equally important factors in a criminal lawyer. For example, are you the type of person that will need constant attention, and a little bit of “hand holding”? Don’t be embarrassed! Look for the criminal lawyer that will devote sufficient energy to that phase of representation. Alternatively, will you be likely going to trial? Then look for an attorney who is litigious and ready to handle the courtroom.

3. Reviews & Ratings: Do Your Homework

The internet provides a wonderful mechanism to research your potential criminal defender. For example, yahoo, Google, and bing all have local places pages where you can research your attorney and see what others have said about him. Also, many criminal lawyers will put reviews up on their website.

Furthermore, you can go to sites like martindale hubbell and and research your potential lawyer. These are wonderful sites to learn more about the person you will entrust your life with.

4. How much money are you willing to spend

Hiring a lawyer is much like everything else in life. You get what you pay for. Or more appropriately, the more money you spend, the more experience you are likely to get.

But please note: Just because you go with a less experienced attorney, may not be a bad thing. Sometimes, the younger attorneys are the “hungry” ones, that will go to bat and win for you. Again, you must do your homework to see if the criminal defense attorney you are investigating is the one for you.…

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Great Criminal Defense Lawyers Are Worth The Expense

Great Criminal Defense Lawyers Are Worth The Expense

If you have been accused of a crime, whether you have done it or not, it is wise to get the help of a lawyer to defend you. There are a lot of criminal defense lawyers available willing to fight your corner, whether you are guilty of a serious crime, such as murder, or not. Using a good lawyer can prevent you from being imprisoned for a crime that you did not commit. They can also help to reduce the sentence, if you are found guilty.

If you have been convicted of a crime, when you are trying to find a lawyer to defend you, there are a lot of things that you have to bear in mind. Experience is one of the most important things. It is better if you can find somebody who is experienced in the field of which you have been charged with. This will help you enormously, and not just their criminal knowledge. It is also an advantage to you if they have come up against the same legal opponents, and judge, before.

You should also find out if the attorney works alone, or has the support of a good research team. Some of the most brilliant lawyers accept that a lot of their success is due to the work done behind-the-scenes. A defense lawyer, that has been comprehensively briefed by their researchers, is able to work more efficiently in resolving your case.

Sadly, there are some people who will be keen to charge you with a crime, whether they believe you did it or not. This is where you really need a great defense attorney. They will be able to prevent the prosecution from using a string of false allegations to get you committed. There are a lot of people serving sentences in prison for crimes that they did not commit.

Justice will never seem very straightforward, however much they try to simplify it. There are a lot of people in this world, however much they feel what they have done is right, have committed a crime. They have acted on impulse in order to help somebody, but in error. This is where you need a competent legal representative to convince the court that even though you are guilty of the offense, there are mitigating reasons.

Never look for the funny side of a legal problem, because you are not going to find one. To be accused of a crime and come before the court can be very frightening. Even though you are innocent, the prosecuting counsel will do as much as they can to prove you are guilty to the jury for this reason, it is very important that you find the best attorney you can. Whether you like it or not, you are in a situation that can change your life incredibly..

Whatever you feel is the truth does not matter, it is the decision of the jury whether you are guilty or not. Your lawyer can only present the facts, and the court decides to believe them or not. The punishment you are given, if found guilty, largely depends on how skillful a defense lawyer you had on your side.

The results you get in your court case can ultimately rely on your choice of legal representation. Criminal defense lawyers who are highly qualified are more likely to get a result that favors you. The decision of the court will be final, and it is up to your legal representative to convince them that you really are innocent.…

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Selecting A Criminal Lawyer

Selecting A Criminal Lawyer

An individual or business entity charged with any kind of criminal activity requires professional guidance from a professional criminal lawyer. Below are some pointers on how to find adequate legal representation.

Research

It is very important to find a defense lawyer who is experienced in criminal law. Similar to doctors, attorneys specialize in their services. The criminal legal process is a highly complex field. Therefore, only an expert criminal attorney should be engaged to represent you regardless of what type of case it is.

It is also best to engage a lawyer with specific experience pertaining to your kind of case. For example, if you are charged with a driving offense, ensure that he or she has many years of experience handling similar matters.

There are many ways to find suitable legal representation. The local bar association offers referrals and people you know also could be good resources. There are many legal forums online where you can inquire about legal representation and search in databases for criminal lawyers in your area. Be prepared to speak with several attorneys before making a decision on who will represent you and handle your case.

Investigate

Before choosing a few lawyers to speak with, check on his or her background online through a search engine. While this will not provide all of the information you need it could provide helpful information. Perhaps certain criminal lawyers are associated with similar matters to your own.

Check with the local bar association to ensure that he or she has not been disciplined and to ensure that all licenses are valid.

If you know someone who works in the legal profession or system check to see if they are familiar with the criminal attorneys you are considering.

Prepare

Prior to speaking with any legal professional gather all of your facts about the situation such as time, place, form and event. Every detail could be critical so ensure that you have all of the pertinent information prior to speaking with a criminal lawyer. Any attorney you speak with will need all of the facts about your case in order to assist you.

Questions to Ask

After you have decided on a few lawyers to speak with, find out:

1. The extent of their experience handling your type of case.

2. What the fee structure will be and exactly what is included. Often, a criminal lawyer will offer a free consultation. However, once engaged, there is either a flat or hourly fee. When charging hourly, lawyers charge for every phone call and interaction with you or on your behalf.

3. Who will be handling your matter. Some lawyers have a staff of attorneys who might be handling your case, while the lawyer you are speaking with will supervise. Make sure you are comfortable with that situation prior to engaging his or her services.

Finally, ensure that the criminal lawyer carries malpractice insurance. The ultimate goal is to find an experienced, credible criminal lawyer to represent you and handle your case in the most effective and expedient way possible.…