Did you know that someone gets arrested for a drug law violation every 20 seconds in the United States? This totaled 1.63 million arrests in the year 2017, which is almost 4 percent higher than the year before.
Over 1.4 million of these arrests — or an astounding 85 percent — are for, simply, drug possession.
Are you one of the majority that has been arrested for such a crime?
If so, the numbers show your case isn’t unique. And in fact, the general consensus says that the public thinks otherwise law-abiding citizens shouldn’t get penalized with jail time for these types of arrests.
Despite this fact, the law is still catching up. An arrest could devastate your home and family life as well as your job or health. Because of this, it’s helpful to know what to do, and what to expect, during this type of arrest.
This guide will describe the process so you have one less surprise on your hands.
What to Expect: Your Miranda Rights
Let’s assume that the arresting officer had probable cause to search your person, dwelling, or vehicle. They had the evidence necessary to make the arrest. Now what?
Make sure you get read your Miranda rights. These are your basic rights as a citizen.
You’ve likely heard the gist of these before: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney.”
You can expect to get taken to jail after being read your rights.
Once there, you’ll be booked and see the judge (usually within 24-48 hours). You may or may not get released on bail. This decision will get made by the presiding judge at the time. It can depend on any number of factors, such as the amount possessed, the schedule of drug, previous arrests, and more.
What to Do If You’re Arrested for Drug Possession: Remain Silent
One thing that can greatly help (or hurt) your arrest is what you choose to say or not say.
Avoid saying anything incriminating by respectfully declining any questions the officer asks you. Without legal knowledge, you may inadvertently say something which could be detrimental to your case.
Once you arrive at the jail, you’re allowed your one phone call. Now is the time to call a lawyer for drug arrests if you have one. If you don’t, get in touch with a friend or family member who can connect you with one.
Of course, if you can’t afford one, one will be appointed to you per your Miranda rights. Regardless, it’s best to explain everything to the lawyer—not the officer. They can determine that the arrest was lawfully made and help decide the next course of action.
If you’re allowed to post bail, you can pay this and get released with the knowledge that you intend to come back for your court date. If not, you may have to stay in jail until your hearing.
Know Your Rights
Knowing what to do, and what to expect, during a drug possession arrest is crucial.
It could mean the difference between getting out on bail or staying stuck in a cell. It could also mean the difference between a felony or a misdemeanor.
One thing is clear: you need legal help.
Keep scrolling our blog for more essential advice, such as how to choose the right lawyer for your case.