The biggest misconception is going to be about having a prescription. The most common scenario is the drug-based DUI, and then there’s also the standard possession charge; for example, you get Xanax or Adderall or something from a significant other because they have a prescription and you take it.
That scenario comes up a lot, but because you don’t have a prescription, you’re technically breaking a law. A lot of people think that just the fact that they got it legally makes it ok; for example, if you got it from a significant other or someone who has a valid prescription. A lot of people assume that that’s okay but it’s really not.
Do People Usually Say, “I Didn’t Get My Miranda Warnings”? What’s Going to Happen in that Case?
If people say they weren’t advised of their Miranda Rights, they’re usually hoping that it will cause the case to be dismissed. That might be so, especially with the drug charges if the police officer randomly approaches you. You should be advised of Miranda Rights as soon as you are lawfully arrested and you’re going to be questioned. In most of these drug scenarios, usually the officer has some kind of background knowledge of the individual, unless they’re stopped for a vehicle code violation. They’ll be able to tell whether or not that person may be under the influence, but won’t be able to really point out anything specifically.
In that scenario, if an officer comes up to you and you’re just minding your own business, if they’re going to question you, they have to essentially prevent you from any kind of movement. That detainment can be considered an arrest under the right circumstances and that can lead to any of your statements being suppressed, meaning they can be thrown out of the court so that the DA can’t use them against you. It could lead to some other evidence being unavailable for the DA to use against you, but that failure to advise you of Miranda rights won’t necessarily dismiss the case at the beginning.
What Are Some Things that Would Actually Help My Drug Case?
Getting help, getting into NA or Narcotics Anonymous helps. Showing that you’ve started addressing any issues that you might have, and maybe some community service is also recommended. If it’s a prescription drug, maybe getting a prescription for it because even though you don’t have that valid prescription for the date of incident, getting a subsequent prescription for that drug obviously will help show that you actually needed it or it is helping you. So it can be a mitigating circumstance.
Isn’t Getting into a Program like NA an Admission of Guilt in a Drug Charge?
No, it’s a valid assumption. That is one of the things that a lot of people think of if they go into NA treatment, or some other sort of treatment; that it is an admission of guilt. That’s not necessarily true though. That’s because the DAs, if they see drugs are an issue, all they care about is that there’s treatment there. That’s actually one of the alternatives to an actual conviction, getting the treatment necessary to help the individual. If they see you are being proactive about it rather than waiting to see what happens with the criminal case, they’re probably going to be a little more lenient.
Would Becoming an Informant Help Someone’s Drug Case?
The problem with that is that people think it happens more often than it really does. Police rarely use informants unless they’re looking at some big guns. It’s not really realistic that I’m going to be able to go into court and talk to the DA and say, “Hey, look he’s willing to be an informant. Can we dismiss these charges?” It doesn’t typically happen that way and that’s more of a Law and Order thing. Not to say it doesn’t happen, but it’s very rare.
What Are Some Things That Can Actually Hurt a Person’s Drug Case?
One is going to be talking to the officer about anything. Admitting to the kind of drugs, admitting to how much, when the last use was and admitting to a lack of prescription, if that’s an issue. There are a number of things that people can do to get themselves in more trouble. It just depends on the officer and the circumstances. Sometimes, people can get in trouble by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
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