Drug charges can range from minor to very serious. In all cases, you’ll need an advocate to defend you.
The Law Office of Bryan Stephenson works with clients on all types of drug and drug-related charges. Call today for a free consultation to find out how his wide-ranging expertise in this area can help you.
Bryan goes through the evidence and procedures in each case to choose the best way to defend his clients.
Here are some of the things he looks for:
- How did the police obtain the alleged drugs? Did they unlawfully perform a traffic stop, or secure an invalid search warrant for someone’s house? Did the police use an unreliable confidential informant, or perform a search or seizure before obtaining a search warrant?
- Were the drugs for personal use or for sale/delivery? This is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony, and there is a big disparity in possible penalties between these two. Officers can find a small amount of drugs, but up the charge to a felony to get a felony arrest on their stats. Just because someone was found to have a certain amount of drugs does not necessarily mean that there was intent to sell them. Upon examination of a case, Bryan often finds there is no evidence to indicate this intent to resale.
- Did the client actually “possess” the drugs under the law? The classic example is drugs found in the center console of a car, and the police charging all four people in the vehicle with possessing the same item. It’s possible that only one person is even aware of its presence. Being in the vicinity of an illegal substance does not automatically mean that a person is guilty of possessing it. Bryan has handled cases for numerous clients charged with possessing something that they had no idea was there. Bryan roots out the details to challenge the DA’s assertion that his client was in possession.
- Where was the alleged offense committed? Under TN law, if you are found to have committed a drug felony within 1000 feet of a school, park, daycare, or public library (even if those locations were closed or it was during the summer), then the penalties drastically increase and make the person ineligible for any type of probation (i.e., mandatory prison time). Bryan investigates the assertion that the incident occurred within this zone.