If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Oklahoma, then you are facing up to two years in state prison for a Schedule I or II controlled substance (other than marijuana), or one year in prison for marijuana or a Schedule III, IV, or V drug such as a prescription drug without a valid prescription. In addition, you face fines and a criminal record which can affect your present and future employment as well as your reputation in your community. Whether you have been charged, arrested, or are under investigation by law enforcement for a drug crime in Oklahoma, there are some steps you should take to protect your rights and your freedom.
Do Not Speak to Law Enforcement or Prosecutors Without a Lawyer
You should never speak with law enforcement or prosecutors without an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side(and, no, your cousin who just graduated from law school and works in real estate does not count). Under the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to not incriminate yourself by giving the police damaging information against yourself, and this includes the right to refuse to talk to the police without an attorney present.
Police officers may try to shame or pressure you into waiving this right by saying this makes you look guilty, but remember their mission is to win convictions, not protect your rights. Furthermore, they are far more skilled than you are at conducting these conversations and getting people to admit incriminating statements which can put them away even when suspects have no idea they are doing themselves grave harm. Oklahoma prisons are filled with people who thought they could talk their way out of an encounter with police, only to hand the police exactly what they are looking for to win conviction. Don’t make that same mistake.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately
Whether you are in a conversation with law enforcement or you have already been charged, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will represent your interests and pursue the legal strategies that can keep you out of jail. You may be hesitant to devote financial resources on a legal professional, but the alternative might be months in prison (or longer) away from family and work and a criminal record that can haunt your prospects for years. Without an experienced criminal defense attorney, you will face a complicated and intimidating criminal justice system designed to win a conviction against you. Don’t go it alone.
Explore Your Options for Dismissal or Reduction in Charges
Once you engage an experienced criminal defense attorney, your attorney will explore all possible defenses to dismiss your charges or win a not guilty verdict, or in other cases to pursue the most lenient outcome possible. Your attorney will scrutinize the police procedures to determine whether any constitutional violations were made (e.g. whether the police had probable cause to arrest you or whether evidence was lawfully seized), whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction (e.g. it may be possible to show you were not aware of the nature of the substance found in your possession, etc.), and other possible defenses. Your attorney can also seek to have the charges reduced to a lesser charge or to avoid prison time. Every situation is different, and your attorney can assess your particular facts and advise you accordingly.
How to Fight Your Oklahoma Drug Possession Charges
Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney Patrick Quillian worked as an Oklahoma district attorney, so he has the experience of working on the other side and understands how to best fight your case and work towards a dismissal of charges, not guilty verdict, or favorable agreement with reduction of penalties and charges in your Oklahoma drug possession case. Contact the office of J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, today at 405.294.4448 to schedule a free consultation to see what his criminal defense team can do for you.