Drug Possession A Serious Offense In The Windy City

In January, a candy store cashier was held on bail of $75,000 after police found crack cocaine and marijuana in her possession. The woman had been seen stuffing a large clear plastic bag into her bra, and upon arrest officers recovered four baggies containing crack cocaine and 20 baggies containing cannabis, or marijuana.

The woman was brought up on drug possession charges after police had been surveilling the store she worked at for days, and after several drug-related arrests in the area provided the police with valuable information. The incident highlights the continuing vigilance of Chicago law enforcement when it comes to drug laws, and for those caught in the crossfire, the importance of obtaining a competent criminal defense lawyer.

Police make mistakes

One of the things many criminal defendants fail to realize is that the police are not legal experts, and they don't always follow the appropriate procedures when it comes to making arrests and collecting evidence. Depending upon the gravity of the misconduct, a criminal defendant may be able to avoid a successful prosecution altogether.

For example, evidence illegally obtained will be suppressed in a criminal prosecution; in order to obtain evidence legally, a search or arrest warrant is required, similar to the one obtained by the police prior to the candy store cashier's arrest. In such situation, a seasoned criminal defense attorney will be able to review the facts leading up to the arrest and protect the defendant's rights as the charges move forward.

Criminal defendants have options

While it might seem that a criminal prosecution is a simple question of guilty or not guilty, there are many ways to mitigate the harm caused by a criminal prosecution, even where crucial evidence cannot be suppressed. In such situations, a criminal defense attorney who knows the courthouse and understands the plea bargain process can advocate effectively for a reduced or dropped charge from a prosecutor. While any criminal defendant can negotiate a plea bargain, seasoned criminal attorneys that have negotiated many such plea bargains know the difference between a good deal and a bad one.

Should the case go to trial, a criminal defense attorney will be necessary to poke holes in the prosecution's case, to point out flaws in the prosecution's strategy and to exploit any shred of doubt as to the client's guilt. Experienced criminal defense attorneys also understand the nuances of judicial discretion in sentencing and may be able to obtain a reduced sentence from a judge.

Seek out a criminal defense attorney

Criminal defendants facing drug possession or drug trafficking charges have some serious choices to make. Yet one choice that should not be difficult to make is choosing a criminal defense attorney who can effectively advocate on your behalf.