Being falsely accused of a crime is a common trope in most TV shows and movies. However, this does happen in real life.
It can be quite confusing and frustrating if you’re accused of a drug-related crime that you didn’t commit or had no involvement in. Worse, there’s no guarantee that the charges against you will be dismissed and that you won’t be found guilty.
That said, if you do find yourself being falsely charged with a drug-related crime, there are certain steps you need to take to protect yourself. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself legally:
Hire A Lawyer
The first step you need to do when you’re accused of a drug-related crime is to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Preferably, you want someone who has handled similar cases as yours.
The importance of hiring a lawyer right away, even if you’re still just a suspect, can’t be emphasized enough. The best lawyer will uphold your rights and help you develop a strategy to fight the charges you’re facing.
When hiring a lawyer, always look locally. For instance, if you’re facing a drug-related criminal case in Raleigh, NC, you should look for a reputable, local Raleigh criminal lawyer. Laws vary state by state, so choosing a local lawyer ensures that they are well-versed in the drug-related crime law in your state.
Understand Your Basic Rights
Regardless of where you are in the country, you have inviolable fundamental rights that cannot be forfeited when charged with any kind of crime. Knowing your basic rights as an American can help you understand what you should do and how to better protect yourself against legal problems.
In general, your lawyer should let you know what your rights are. However, it’s best to be aware of the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees your right to a public trial and a public lawyer. Remember that each defendant is granted the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and that the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is that of the plaintiff’s or prosecution.
Understand The Seriousness Of The Accusations
You may struggle to accept the fact that you’ve been served. However, you need to understand the seriousness of the accused offenses and the potential penalties you could face.
While you may argue that you’re innocent, you can’t assume that the police, prosecutor, jury, or judge will see it that way. So, even if you know you’re innocent, taking the charges seriously from the beginning can help you make careful decisions and actions that will increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
When you’ve been wrongfully accused of a drug-related crime, it’s a good idea to make a list of potential witnesses. A witness can provide valuable information to you, your lawyer, the judge, and the jury regarding the handling of evidence. This could include your whereabouts at a specific time and day if you were accused of drug possession.
On the other hand, if you were accused of drug trafficking, a witness can provide critical testimony to prove your innocence. This is especially important if the charges against you are regarding planted evidence or the instigation of a crime by another individual.
Gather Physical Evidence And Documents
If there’s any physical evidence, such as photographs, GPS data, or clothing, you must gather these pieces of evidence and give them to your lawyer. One of the most critical pieces of evidence is a drug test, which can be conducted through urine or hair follicle. Talk to your lawyer about the best way to go about this.
That said, as you gather pieces of evidence that work in your defense, it’s critical to refrain from destroying or tampering with the evidence that could negatively affect your credibility. These include text messages, call logs, emails, or phone recordings that may be requested during your trial.
Doing so can put you in a tight spot when the jury or judge finds out you destroyed evidence, causing them to doubt your innocence. Additionally, this can lead to charges of obstruction of justice, so you must tread carefully with your lawyer’s guidance.
Being accused of a drug-related crime is a serious issue and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even if you know you’re innocent, you should take immediate action to protect yourself and your legal rights.
Every American is protected by the Constitution, which can serve as your initial guide regarding your rights during your trial and prosecution. One of the most critical ways to protect yourself is to hire a lawyer to defend your rights. If you can’t afford a private lawyer, remember that the Sixth Amendment grants you access to a public lawyer from the state.
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