Drug lawyers are experts in the field of legal matters relating to drugs, both prescription and non-prescription. They can help with a range of issues, including drug addiction, drug abuse, drug addiction treatment options, the legality of drugs, drugs in sport, driving under the influence of drugs, and criminal law to deal with crimes related to marijuana and other illegal substances.
When it comes to possession of drugs, serious charges could be pressed against you depending on the three prominent factors – (a) the intent of drug possession; (b) the drug possession quantity; and (c) the variety of drug which is possessed by the individual. Also, there could be a huge difference between the extent and nature of the individual’s potential sentence depending on whether the person is charged in state or federal court.
A deeper understanding of Philadelphia’s federal drug possession rules helps those accused to make the right decisions when it comes to exercising their rights after charges for drug-related offenses are imposed on them. The intensity of charges depends majorly on the facts as well as the officer prosecuting the case.
An expert Philadelphia drug attorney who is well-versed with the law can help you in winning the case. Having a professional by your side makes a huge difference in increasing the chances of winning the case.
Factors resulting in drug sentencing
Any individual who has been arrested for a drug-related crime under federal law has to face an initial arraignment hearing. Generally, there is a 48-hour gap between the individual’s arrest and arraignment. If the individual pleads guilty or is found guilty following a trial, there is a period of about 90 days before the drug sentencing. This time period allows the probation officer to create a sentencing report that helps the judge in setting out the person’s criminal history, educational history, family background, aggravating crime-related factors, notable accomplishments, and more. Plus, it also gives the criminal defense lawyer time to learn about the case details and prepare the defense accordingly.
This report includes details of the positive factors, like whether the individual was cooperative enough with the officials. It also mentions whether any kind of weapon was used during the commission of the crime. There are additional factors related to drug offenses that are subtracted or added to the assigned “base” points.
The charges imposed on the guilty depend on the seriousness of the “base” offense which is determined by the point value. High point value means extremely serious offense. The resulting value is then compared with the criminal history level which ranges from “0” (no criminal history) to “VI” (extensive or very serious criminal history).
A conversion table is then used for creating a sentencing “range” that helps judge during the decision-making process. However, with the assistance of an expert defense attorney, the defendant has the right to challenge the findings of the probation officer and file objections to the factors which could increase the sentencing range.
For example, if a probation officer’s report says your drug dealings were your primary mode of supporting your finances and on this basis, sentencing time may be increased. The drug lawyer defending you in this case will present proof of your legal income sources. He may also argue that you are being falsely framed and therefore the range of your sentencing shouldn’t be increased.
Similarly, your attorney may also put forward the argument that because you cooperated and behaved cordially with the police officer, your sentence should be reduced. The attorney also collects recommendation letters from family, co-workers, and friends attesting to the judge your family life, character, and community involvement in addition to the sentencing report.
However, the judge should bring the below-listed factors into consideration before sentencing the convicted:
- The circumstances and nature of the offense
- Your characteristics and history
- The seriousness of the offense
- Status of restitution; whether paid or not to the victims
- Whether or not the sentence is sufficient for protecting the interest of the public
- The types and kinds of sentences and punishments available
In case the judge doesn’t consider the above-listed factors the Philadelphia drug lawyer may file a resentencing appeal. The defense attorney also has the right to put forward the argument of taking your positive characteristics and special considerations into account so that your sentence is reduced accordingly.
Attorneys at the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin work with experts and investigators to fight cases to protect the rights of individuals accused of drug offenses. Plus, they are always prepared with alternatives to present to the judges so that the sentence can be reduced as much as possible. Moreover, the defense attorney can help their client plead guilty or not guilty for the drug-related offense. There is a lot of work involved in handling a drug-related case to ensure that the sentence isn’t more than necessary considering the crime.