Drug-related charges make up a huge portion of criminal cases here in the greater Denver area. They involve state and federal laws, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors. They cover everything from possession to multi-national, multi-million dollar drug operations. Though these charges are common, don’t assume they’re not a big deal. A conviction could have a significant impact on your life.
If you’re being investigated for or are charged with a drug-related crime, you need to know where you stand and what your best options are in order to make the right decisions about what you should do next. Call Kevin R. Churchill at (303) 832-9000 to schedule a free consultation. It’s estimated there are about 450,000 people in US jails because they were arrested for or convicted of non-violent drug-related crimes. That’s about 20% of our total national prison population or slightly less than the number of people living in Colorado Springs. You don’t want to join them if it’s at all possible.
What are Drug-Related Crimes?
Possible drug charges are limited only by state and federal statutes, the many different roles in the illegal drug industry, and the prosecutor’s imagination.
- Drug charges not only involve illegal drugs we’re familiar with – heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD, and marijuana (depending on what you do with it and the amount) – but also selling or doing something that’s illegal with drugs (or drug ingredients) that are otherwise legal to buy over the counter or with a prescription. Illegal acts include possession, possession with intent to sell, trafficking, distribution, importation, transportation across state lines, and manufacturing.
- Handling and investing money earned through illegal drugs to make it appear that it has been earned legitimately (money laundering) is also illegal.
What Should I Be Most Concerned About?
1. Get Help So You Won’t Make a Bad Situation Worse.
Whether you learn you’re under investigation for a drug-related crime or were arrested, it’s critical you get legal advice and representation as soon as you can. You may say or do things that you think will help your situation, but you could be making things worse. Criminal law can be highly complex. Law enforcement may infringe upon your constitutional rights while building a case against you. The more problems with your case, the better it is for you. You may be in a much better position to deal with this than you know.
You need advice so you can make an informed decision about what to do next. Don’t guess or take the advice of those arresting you. You may be in a very serious situation or your charges may be minor and easily dealt with. No matter what you’re facing, you need to be sure of your next steps.
2. The Prosecution Has the Burden of Proving You’re Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. You Don’t Have the Burden to Prove You’re Innocent.
Don’t panic. Keep calm. Being arrested can be frightening and stressful. The officers may tell you how much trouble you’re in and the terrible things that will happen to you. They may just want to frighten you into cooperating and confessing so their work is easier and they can close another case.
Many things can go wrong in a criminal investigation. Officers may have made mistakes along the way, but they won’t admit that to you. After we’re retained, we will do our own investigation. We often uncover errors in the prosecution’s case, leading to charges being withdrawn or favorable plea bargain agreements being reached for our clients.
3. You Have the Right to Remain Silent. Take Advantage of That Right.
You have the right to remain silent when you’re questioned by law enforcement. Many people have been arrested and convicted of drug-related charges because they tried to explain their situation, offered excuses for what happened, or implicated themselves while giving information about others in the hope that it would reduce their charges.
Officers can talk all they want. They may ask you questions until they’re so hoarse they can’t speak. Don’t take the bait. Tell them you’re not saying anything until you consult with an attorney then contact our office. Not talking will never make you look guilty later in court.
Cooperating with the police may be the right thing to do in your situation, but you must do it in a way that gives you the most protection and benefit. Law enforcement doesn’t have your best interests at heart, we do. They want to close cases, we want the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Get the Help You Need from an Attorney You Can Trust
Kevin Churchill has represented those accused of drug-related offenses for more than two decades. His criminal defense experience will bring the insight that you need to understand how Denver prosecutors, judges, and jurors will react to the evidence and defenses in your case. Call him today at (303) 832-9000 to schedule a free consultation.