When you get charged for possession of drugs or something more serious, you’re placing your freedom on the line. The state of Minnesota takes drug crimes seriously, and, if you have a prior criminal record, your legal consequences could be more serious. Once arrested for a drug charge, you must wait for your first appearance to see the judge and proceed to discuss whether you’re eligible for bail. Many defendants find it expedient to secure the services of a Minnesota licensed attorney before appearing in court.
Your attorney handles the responsibility of speaking on your behalf with the judge, who will decide if you will be released from detention before trial. You or your spouse or relative can consult different attorneys and inquire about their retainer fee and an hourly rate for criminal defense services. It’s in your best interest to have a qualified law practitioner on your side as soon as possible.
What Criminal Defense Looks Like
Choosing a criminal defense attorney is a big decision. A typical practitioner must go through many steps to complete your case.
- A defense lawyer checks the facts with appropriate law enforcement authorities and the prosecutor’s office. This can take some time. You may be arrested and given a first appearance before the case is reviewed by a prosecutor. This will include determining if you will meet the qualifications for bail. If it appears that you could be eligible, your lawyer will advise how much time you have to speak to family members about assisting with posting assets as collateral for the bond.
- A defense lawyer verifies and works in collaboration with the appropriate legal process for your type of case. In general, the rules and procedures for moving a case through the legal system are different for federal drug charges than they are for Minnesota state and local drug charges.
- A defense lawyer evaluates if there is sufficient evidence to substantiate your drug charges and then determines if you might qualify for a plea bargain, a reduced sentence, or other options that would improve your outcome. Negotiating a plea bargain may be a good option for some defendants at several points during their drug cases.
- A defense lawyer talks to witnesses that will be called by the prosecution to testify against you at trial. This exploratory phase will help your lawyer determine the type of plea you might enter, but, ultimately, you will inform your lawyer of your desired plea and the judge will verify that said plea is truly your wish.
- A defense lawyer prepares and discusses the best defense story with you because you are accused of a serious crime. This story should be based on the facts of the case and should constitute a reasonable account of what happened on the date in question. A plausible defense will be essential for convincing a jury of your innocence.
- A defense lawyer determines if it is in your best interest to testify at your own trial. This is a risky strategy and may or may not help your case.
Don’t Wait to Choose Legal Representation.
While we have provided a brief overview of what a St. Paul drug crimes lawyer could do for you, there are many potential factors that could arise during the case, some of which would eliminate the need for a trial. Focus on getting your case resolved in a timely manner.
At Rogosheske, Rogosheske, & Atkins, we know defendants new to the criminal justice system have many questions about how to fight their drug charges. Don’t wait to seek legal assistance for Minnesota drug charges until you make bail. You don’t want important facts in your case to be lost, including evidence that might prove your innocence.
When seeking a lawyer, ask for a consultation (which may occur over the phone or when the attorney has time to visit you in jail). Because time is of the essence, we encourage you to contact us at your earliest convenience.