Narcotic and Controlled Substance Offenses
Getting arrested for any crime is a horrible experience. However, being accused of a federal drug offense is especially scary and dangerous. One reason that an arrest on a drug charge can be so stressful is because the agents and police officers involved in investigating such crimes are often aggressive and overbearing. While many people involved in selling illegal drugs sometimes engage in violence, the law enforcement officials are often similarly violent.
When law enforcement officers initiate an arrest or a search, their actions must comply with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as other legal provisions that govern their actions. Indeed, even when an arrest or search is conducted pursuant to a warrant, the law requires law enforcement officers to abide by certain standards. Over the years, we have found that “seizures” and “searches” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment often do not comply with what the law requires. For that reason, in drug and other cases involving a law enforcement “search” or “seizure”, it is essential to hire a lawyer who is qualified and dedicated to carefully evaluating the situation to determine whether a motion to suppress should be filed.
Besides being confronted with sometimes excessively aggressive law enforcement tactics, these cases are also frightening because the penalties can be so severe. In federal court, many people charged with a drug crime face a mandatory minimum penalty. This minimum penalty is based on the weight and the type of the drugs. The penalties are also severe because one person can be held accountable for the actions of another. Sometimes, a person who never touched the drugs can face the same mandatory minimum penalty so long as another member of a conspiracy was involved in a deal with the quantity of drugs that kicks in the mandatory penalty scheme.
Drug crimes spring from a wide variety of fact patterns. At Kish & Lietz, our clients have been accused of a variety if actions relating to illegal drugs, such as claims that our clients have grown, sold, imported, possessed, delivered or produced certain illegal drugs. The drugs involved in these cases include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana. Furthermore, over the past decade or so we have seen more and more cases in which prosecutors use the federal drug laws to go after physicians, doctors, and other medical professionals for allegedly over-prescribing certain “legal” drugs. We are also among the few attorneys who have successfully litigated cases involving GHB, GBL, and 1,4 butanediol.
Our society is also awash in “legal” drugs, those which are prescribed by a medical practitioner. More and more, we are called on to represent people who are accused of crimes related to these prescribed medicines. Sometimes, the government goes after the medical practitioner, other times they focus on the patient. In either situation, the defense lawyer needs to be very well versed in the drug laws and more and more we find that we need to also become well-versed in the medical and pharmacological issues in such cases.
As noted above, penalties for drug cases have become quite severe. Much of the problem stems from the mandatory minimum sentences used by Congress and various state legislatures. In federal court, things are complicated even more by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Too many people hire lawyers who are not competent to handle cases involving these complex sentencing rules. The lawyers at Kish & Lietz are experts in these areas, and are asked to speak to other lawyers about these intricate federal sentencing rules.
It is very frightening for anyone when they or one of their family members gets accused of a drug crime. Defending such matters requires a lawyer who is diligent and willing to put in the work needed to defend such matters. We are especially concerned when a young person is facing an accusation of a drug crime. It is so important to make sure that a youthful mistake does not become the defining moment in a young person's life.
Whether you are young or old, whether the crime involves marijuana, cocaine or some other drug, you need a lawyer who knows the law, and who is willing to fight for you. Feel free to call us at (404) 588-3991 or contact us online if you would like an appointment to discuss your situation.