Drug Possession Dos and Dont's: Rules To Follow If You're Arrested
You might assume the police are more concerned with arresting violent offenders than those who commit drug-related crimes. But the truth is that the opposite is thought to be true. During 2016, the FBI estimated that there were 1,572,579 arrests for drug law violations throughout the United States. And according to the Washington Post, more people were arrested that year for marijuana possession than were arrested for crimes designated by the FBI as "violent" combined.
What does that mean for those who might take or distribute controlled substances? Simply put, statistics show that these activities can have serious consequences. Whether you're found to be in possession of prescription medications that don't belong to you or you're arrested for having cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, or heroin on your person, you could end up facing major jail time -- particularly if you don't know how to conduct yourself prior to or during an arrest. Those facing drug charges would be smart to pay attention to our list of dos and don'ts below.
If you are arrested for possession, DO...
- Be Respectful: You may not be the biggest fan of cops, but keep your disdain in check. If you're seen as uncooperative or combative, you could end up making a lot more trouble for yourself than necessary. Always be polite to law enforcement -- without volunteering unnecessary information, of course. You can absolutely exercise your right to remain silent and to contact an attorney. Just make sure to do so with the utmost respect for law enforcement.
- Contact an Attorney: Drug possession charges are no joke. Assuming that you can outsmart police or that your privilege or clean record will save you will end up being a big mistake. The best thing you can do if you are arrested for possession of a controlled substance or prescription medications (without having a prescription) is to contact a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. This will ensure that your rights are protected throughout this process and that you don't accidentally offer police any information that could be used against you.
Arrested for possession of prescription medications or other controlled substances? DON'T...
- Eat Your Drugs: It might sound silly, but there are those who will try to evade drug possession charges by ingesting their pot or even prescription medications before an arrest occurs. Unfortunately, they usually learn out the hard way that this is a huge mistake. A case that might have easily been handled as a misdemeanor could quickly turn into a felony if you try to hide or destroy evidence. This will come with much more serious legal consequences; tampering with evidence is simply not worth throwing away your future.
- Be Dishonest: When talking with police, you should not volunteer any information other than identifying information. You shouldn't lie to the police, but you shouldn't be truthful to the point of volunteering incriminating details that can be used against you. When communicating with your lawyer, however, you need to be honest about everything. If your attorney doesn't have the complete story, this will likely hurt you at trial. You need to be 100% truthful, even if you feel it could make you "look bad." Let your attorney craft your defense -- that's their job and they can do it only if they know all the details.
If you've been arrested for possession of controlled substances or prescription medications that do not legally belong to you, you deserve to have an experienced legal team on your side. To find out more, please get in touch with us to set up a consultation today.