Criminal Charges for Drug-related Crimes
Criminal charges for drug-related offenses in New Mexico may lead to severe penalties. For example, the possession of less than twenty grams of marijuana is usually classified as a misdemeanor, and carries a penalty of up to one year in jail or a fine of a thousand dollars. When the quantity of marijuana is more than twenty grams, the offense is categorized as a felony, which can carry a penalty of five years imprisonment or a five thousand dollar fine. The possession of the actual plants from which marijuana is obtained is considered an even more severe crime.
The penalties for production, creation, or cultivation of illegal substances are usually at least as severe as for possession. For instance, the transportation of less than twenty grams of illegal substances is classified as a misdemeanor. Those convicted of this type of crime typically receive a fine of a thousand dollars and spend a year behind bars. The larger the amount of the illegal substance that defendants are found with, the more severe the penalty is likely to be if they are convicted. This means that the larger the consignment, the greater the risks for those involved.
When an individual is charged with a drug-related crime, they lose the comforts associated with leading a normal a life. Of course, defendants are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. However, it does not always go this way in practical terms. In fact, most prosecutors and law enforcement agents usually act as if they believe the opposite of the maxim is true. They will always try to prove that suspects are guilty, and also attempt to secure the heaviest penalties. It is the work of the prosecutor to ensure that the accused is found guilty in the eyes of the jury. Therefore, defendants require an experienced criminal defense attorney to make the case for their defense.
This is the reason those accused of a crime must make getting an effective and competent lawyer a high priority. The accused should choose a lawyer with good knowledge of criminal law, and from a reputable law firm. The lawyer should have handled similar cases to the one the accused is charged with. The arraignment before the criminal court should be treated with the seriousness it deserves, and hasty decisions should be avoided as they might be costly. Clients should perform any and all necessary research to ensure that the attorney they engage will be effective in getting the required outcome of reduced charges or dismissal of the case altogether.
Those accused of a crime should not procrastinate when choosing a lawyer to handle their case. The time that is provided for the completion of the case is usually short (for more info see our article on when to hire a drug crimes attorney). Those who fail to pay proper attention to the process may find themselves behind bars even when innocent. The sooner a criminal defense attorney is engaged, the sooner an accused person can take the steps to regain their freedom. Accusations of drug-related crimes should not be taken lightly. Anyone accused of such a crime should get a good New Mexico drug crime attorney in order to improve their chances of securing a desirable outcome.