Facing a drug trafficking charge can be overwhelming. Considering the legal and lifelong ramifications of a conviction or mishandled case, as well as the complexity of the criminal justice system, it’s important to choose the right representation. There are hurdles to finding the right attorney, and it’s imperative you know who to avoid. As you prepare to make your decision, keep in mind the following keys to choosing a drug trafficking lawyer to be your Fierce Advocate.
5 Keys to Choosing a Drug Trafficking Lawyer
1. Research Oklahoma City Attorneys To Find Local Representation
Do your due diligence by reading reviews, testimonials and researching Oklahoma Drug Trafficking Lawyers. Use the experience of other people who have faced a drug trafficking charge to better prepare yourself to hire the right representation. An experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorney known for handling such cases is a necessity, so take your time to search for the right lawyer who can help you face any charges you may be facing.
If you don’t know anybody who has faced such charges, review reputable sites to find out what clients have to say regarding their personal experiences with their legal representation from a variety of law firms. Important questions to have in mind include:
- Were the lines of communication open between the client and their defense attorney?
- Did the law firm in question make the process as straightforward as possible for their client?
- Was the case handed down to less-experienced associates or handled by the team as a whole?
- Did clients feel their drug trafficking defense attorney did everything in their power to best represent them?
It’s important to give yourself the freedom of options, so create a list of attorneys you plan to arrange consultations with. When you’ve settled on this list, review their websites for real-life testimonials and reviews from actual clients.
2. Find a Lawyer Specializing in Criminal Law
The justice system can sometimes highlight specific trafficking cases to further illustrate their hardened stance on drugs. Because of this stance, and the system’s determination to secure convictions, people may face an uphill battle for their freedom. Considering the fallout of a drug trafficking conviction and its potential lifelong effects, it’s best to arm yourself with an experienced and seasoned defense lawyer who specializes in criminal law and drug trafficking defense.
Facing a drug trafficking case is daunting. Finding the right lawyer to guide you through the complicated legal process is key to addressing the issue head-on. Be proactive in your search for representation by interviewing those with an exhaustive knowledge of your legal rights and who will work tirelessly to resolve the issue.
Find a criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience in evaluating and seeking suppression for illegal police conduct. Many times law enforcement officers will bend the rules or even violate citizen’s rights concerning unlawful search and seizure to try to obtain evidence of illegal drug activity or drug trafficking. Our Fierce Advocates at Cannon & Associates have experience in evaluating the fact pattern of a wide variety of law enforcement interactions and determining what, if any, of our client’s rights were violated. In many cases identifying these Fourth Amendment violations may result in a better deal/plea bargain with the prosecution or even dismissal if the Court rules the evidence obtained by law enforcement were not legally obtained or accessed.
Most cases are resolved by some version of a negotiated plea in criminal cases, even drug trafficking cases in Oklahoma. An experienced criminal defense team will have years of experience in evaluating and building mitigation in your case to put you in the best light possible to present a narrative to the prosecutor for plea negotiations. Bargaining skills can play a major role in having your charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced to avoid the cost and hassles of a criminal jury trial. In situations in which a trial is unavoidable, a lawyer specializing in criminal law must have the skills and experience trying cases to be Your Fierce Advocate and protect your legal rights in the courtroom.
3. Ensure Your Attorney Is Competent and Experienced
Once you’ve found a lawyer who specializes in criminal law, it’s time to ensure they have the experience to back you in court. Finding a lawyer who has handled drug possession and trafficking cases successfully is a must. Solid credentials and a track record of success should be at the forefront of your search, as well as experience in handling cases similar to your own.
Securing the right representation can be a timely and costly endeavor you should not approach lightly. Before deciding on representation, ask your candidate about how often they settle. Negotiating a plea in your case is less costly and more efficient than going to trial. While this can benefit you, as you avoid the potential negative outcome of a jury trial, some lawyers focus more on their success rates and less on their obligation to best represent their clients, leading them to accept plea deals to avoid a trial and a potential loss.
Timeliness is also a factor. Ensure the drug trafficking attorney you’re considering has won recent cases as drug legislation can change and awareness of these laws should be sharp and apply to current legislation. A lawyer with vast and recent experience all but guarantees you’ll be represented by someone with the knowledge and know-how that applies to your specific case.
4. Always Interview Your Selected Candidates
When facing a drug trafficking charge, you might feel you’re not in control of the situation, but you have control over who represents you. Now that you have a list of experienced and competent attorneys to choose from, you can begin to narrow it down.
Arrange consultations with your prospective criminal defense attorneys and ask them some or all of the following questions:
- What is your success rate in handling drug-related cases?
- Who will I be communicating with primarily throughout my case?
- How often do you go to trial vs. arrange plea agreements?
- Have you worked on cases similar to mine?
- How directly involved will you be in my case?
- Does the law firm offer financing or payment plans?
While your freedom might be at the forefront of your concerns, the financial aspect is also important. A high-profile law firm doesn’t mean that they’re the best choice for representation, and bargain lawyers can press clients into taking plea deals that aren’t in their best interests. Take the time to determine the fee and how you will be billed. Do your research to ensure that you’re spending every cent on an attorney who is going to best represent you.
5. Read the Contract and the Fine Print
When you decide on a particular law firm as your legal representation, you will go on to sign a representation agreement that outlines the terms of the attorney-client relationship. If your chosen attorney is a high-profile, perhaps a named partner within the firm, you should read carefully through the agreement to best judge whether that attorney will represent you for the entirety of your case.
A lawyer with your best interests at heart will keep the lines of communication open throughout your case. The consequences of a conviction or mismanaged case can be phenomenal for you, not your attorney. Finding a lawyer with the time and resources to lead your defense is paramount to battling a drug trafficking charge. Read the contract fine print and be prepared to question whether your attorney is willing to dedicate the necessary time and attention to your case.
While every case is different, it’s best to have in your corner an attorney who is thoroughly aware of the local justice system and its legislation. At Cannon & Associates, an established Oklahoma City law firm, you can choose from a host of highly skilled attorneys to best defend you against a drug trafficking charge. If you require such legal services, call Cannon & Associates today to arrange a consultation.