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Criminal Defense Blog


Right to counsel: What is it?

While all drug crimes are serious, drug trafficking carries much more severe penalties than simple possession. Seeking the counsel of a criminal defense attorney who deals with drug offenses on a regular basis can help ensure you thoroughly understand all of the aspects of your case. Drug trafficking crimes are some of those most serious and can have mandatory minimum sentences of years in jail, including for first-time offenders.

U.S. citizens have several different rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, and those commonly applicable to drug offenses include protection against illegal search and seizure and the right to counsel. The right to counsel is discussed in both the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution, and understanding this right is the first step in understanding how an attorney can be of assistance during your case.

In many cases, drug trafficking charges will come after a police investigation that has taken place over the preceding months, and it can even be possible for a drug sting to involve federal, state and local agencies. An attorney can help you protect your rights by being with you during any interrogations or police questioning. Search and seizure is also a crucial part of most cases involving drug charges, and your attorney can be an invaluable resource in making sure that any searches conducted or evidence seized was done according to proper procedure.

An attorney can help you through every step of the court proceedings, and defendants who are aware of their right to counsel and obtain legal representation as soon as possible are better equipped to go through the criminal defense process.

Source: FindLaw, “Sixth Amendment – U.S. Constitution,” accessed June 19, 2015

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