Protect Yourself From Drug Charges
The impact of a drug crime conviction will affect you for years to come. But if you want to avoid these penalties, you’ll need an aggressive and detailed legal defense.
Attorney Patscheck is a former prosecutor who uses her background and knowledge to benefit every client. When your case involves drug possession, trafficking, or sales, that means fighting to get your charges reduced or dropped by attacking the initial traffic stop, challenging faulty drug tests, and pursuing the best possible resolution.
At Patscheck Law, we know how the state convicts people for drugs, so we understand what it takes to defend you.
What Will a Drug Crime Lawyer Do?
Your Farmington drug crime lawyer will be responsible for handling nearly all the legal details of your case.
Some of the tasks your attorney will handle include:
- Examining the charges against you
- Informing you of the severity of your charges
- Reviewing the state’s case against you
- Conducting an independent investigation
- Speaking with witnesses
- Gathering expert testimony and supporting forensic evidence
- Preparing you to testify at trial
- Presenting a compelling defense strategy in court
- Negotiating with the prosecutor for a reduced sentence or plea agreement
Regardless of the amount, drugs involved, or how you came to be charged, you deserve respectful, assertive, and compassionate legal representation to address Farmington drug charges.
New Mexico Schedule of Controlled Substances
New Mexico classifies drugs into five “Schedules.” This is known as the Schedule of controlled substances (CDS). Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous. They have the highest chance of being abused, are highly addictive, and have no accepted medical value. Some examples of Schedule I drugs include:
As you go through the other controlled substance schedules, they decrease in potential for abuse and increase in accepted medical use. Here are a few examples:
- Anabolic steroids
- Codeine preparations
Farmington Drug Charges
There are various drug crimes you could be arrested for based on the details involved.
Drug Possession in Farmington, New Mexico
Possession of drugs can result in severe penalties under New Mexico law. The penalties you will face will depend on several factors, such as:
- Your criminal record, if any
- What type of drug you allegedly had in your possession
- How much of the drug was in your possession
Schedule I and Schedule II drugs, are some of the most dangerous. If you are accused of possessing a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, you could face fourth-degree felony charges. Here, you could spend up to eighteen months in prison. You could also be ordered to pay fines as high as $5,000.
For most other Schedule III, IV, and V drugs, you could expect to be charged with a misdemeanor. These are punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and one year in jail. But these aren’t the only criminal penalties you’ll face. Other penalties you could suffer include:
- Loss of gun rights
- Loss of driving privileges
- Community service
- Completion of a drug treatment program
There are also significant ways your life could be affected. These could include:
- Trouble with family and friends
- Difficulty finding or keeping a job
- Trouble finding housing
- A lasting criminal record
- Your professional licenses revoked
- Your professional reputation destroyed
With penalties this harsh, getting an experienced defense is critical. Don’t let your life get derailed by a drug possession charge
Drug Trafficking and Distribution
New Mexico law is unique in that several types of drug crimes fall under the state’s drug trafficking laws. These include:
- Trafficking controlled substances
- Distribution of controlled substances
- Possession with intent to distribute or traffic drugs
- Drug cultivation
- Drug production
Factors That Influence Drug Charges
The type and amount of the drug in question will be vital in determining how severe your penalties could be. You might face as many as eighteen years in prison. You could be ordered to pay fines as high as $20,000. Every case and the details involved are different.
But you also run the risk of being charged federally. Federal drug charges will apply if you were accused of trafficking drugs through the state, across multiple states, or international borders. These carry much worse penalties than the ones you’ll face at the state level.
Defending Against Farmington Drug Crimes
The type of drug crime you were charged with and the details will determine which strategy is most likely to help. For example, it may be wise to argue accidental or unintentional possession if you were charged with drug possession. If drugs were found in a common area living space where multiple people had access, this may be a reasonable defense.
Challenging Probable Cause in Drug Cases
Sometimes it’s more important to put a focus on police misconduct and procedural issues. For police to arrest you, they had to have probable cause that you committed a crime. If police saw you exchange a small bag of cocaine for money, this is probable cause that you were selling cocaine. But if they simply suspect that you are a cocaine dealer with no objective factual evidence, they have no legal right to arrest and charge you.
Other potential defenses that could be used in your drug crime trial include:
- Police misconduct
- Mistake of fact
- Illegal search and seizure
- Police abuse of power
- The drugs belonged to someone else
- Lab errors
- Exception for medical marijuana
These are only a few of the ways your attorney might be able to help you dodge a conviction. After examining the details of your arrest and the evidence against you, your lawyer will have a better idea of how to best approach your case.