Congdon Law. PLLC.

Do You Generally Advise Your Clients To Start Any Sort Of Counseling, Drug Programs, Or Meetings While Their Drug-Related Case Is Going On? Does It Help Or Hurt A Defense? Does It Make You Look Guilty?


Whether someone participates in a drug treatment or counseling program is a very personal and individual choice. Certainly, if a client is struggling with a substance abuse addiction issue, treatment and counseling is best for them as a person. I am not only concerned about my clients as their legal counsel, I also want them to be healthy, happy people. Starting a drug treatment program does not hurt their case. It does not have any relevant purpose as to whether they are guilty or not guilty for the conduct they were charged with. It can only serve to help them move forward. If they are convicted at trial, or if they enter a plea deal with the state, treatment and counseling is something that we use to our advantage if they are participating in it. It they’re acquitted or if the case gets dismissed, then it’s really only for the person’s own benefit. With that said, if a client is having issues with substance addiction, I do advise my clients to seek and begin a course of treatment.

At What Point During My Drug Case Will I Have To Enter A Plea Of Guilty Or Not Guilty? Will My Attorney Have All Of The Evidence Or Discovery Before We Have To Make That Decision?

In criminal court, you enter a guilty or not guilty plea effectively at the Rule 8 hearing or omnibus hearing depending on the county that your case is located in. Each county does it a little bit differently. You may not have all of the evidence before you enter a not guilty plea, and that’s okay because you can always change your plea at a future hearing from not guilty to guilty if that’s what you decide to do with your case. Your attorney should have all of the evidence, or at least, all of the evidence that you’re expecting to challenge prior to an omnibus hearing. That way, you can make sure of any challenges that have been raised; and that your attorney is not waving or giving them up on your behalf. It’s essential to have that evidence. By having the evidence, you’ll know the entirety of your case and have a comprehensive strategy to fight every aspect of it.

What Are Some Possible Defense Strategies To Drug Charges?

One of the most common defense strategies to drug charges is that the person being charged was not in possession of the drugs. That defense is going to be very fact-dependent. There are two different types of possession. One type is physical possession, which means that somebody was physically holding the item. The second type is constructive possession, which means that they were exercising dominion and control over the area where the drugs were located. In other words, the accused was acting in a way that would exclude other people from making the claim to that substance. Most cases are constructive possession if the drugs were found in a vehicle or house. If the drugs were found anywhere other than on the person, that’s constructive possession.

The defense to drug charges is dependent on the factual scenario. If there were other people in the car, perhaps the drugs belonged to the other people. If other people live in the house or have access to the space where the drugs were stored, the argument can be made that the defendant was not the one who’s exercising a dominion and control. In other circumstances, it is possible to argue that the substance that was found was not actually drugs. Sometimes, people are charged based on preliminary tests, and often, those tests are incorrect. You could have a substance that is completely benign, such as baby powder, that could potentially test positive as cocaine. Obviously, baby powder is not illegal to possess, but it is illegal to possess cocaine. The defense in that situation would be that the item is not a controlled substance.

For more information on Drug Charges In Minnesota, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651)-964-4512 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

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