Choosing the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you are being charged with a criminal offense in the US, you should be advised of your Miranda rights, and one of these rights is that to an attorney or legal counsel. If you can’t afford one, a public defender will be assigned to protect your interests. However, a public defender may not be able to provide you with the representation you need because they are often juggling several cases at the same time and don’t have the same resources as a private lawyer. If you are facing serious charges, you should make every effort to get the best possible criminal defense lawyer you can get.

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will depend on a number of factors. One of these is whether you are being charged with a state or federal crime.  Not all lawyers have the requisite experience to handle a federal case, which is typically more complex than a state case. A federal case is prosecuted by the US Attorney’s office, where the lawyers tend to have more resources than a state prosecutor, so the prosecution also tends to be a tougher nut to crack.

Another factor to consider is specialization. Lawyers are theoretically licensed by the state to practice any type of legal work, but an experienced corporate lawyer may not be as effective in a criminal case as a criminal defense lawyer. Even then, not all criminal defense lawyers are created equal. You will want one that handles mostly, if not exclusively, the same type of crime of which you are charged with. Check on the lawyer’s track record to get a feel for competence. Failing that, find a lawyer who is willing to spend the time and energy to study your case thoroughly and construct an effective defense.

It is also important that you choose a lawyer you can work with. A criminal defense lawyer should be articulate and a good negotiator, qualities which are important in arguing a case. You don’t necessarily have to like your attorney, but he or she should inspire your confidence and respect because you have to be able to rely on your lawyer in this most crucial of tasks.

Criminal Defense against Marijuana Possession

Being accused of a crime, whether it be a simple case of misdemeanor or something much more serious, such as DUI or possession of marijuana, can be a frightening experience, especially for people who committed the act without actually having intended to do so.

A drug crime, specifically, is an act in violation of federal laws, deserving lengthy jail terms and hefty fines. A drug-related crime includes selling, manufacturing, distribution and possession of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Despite its wide use, marijuana remains to be considered an illegal drug in the US. The Controlled Substances Act has classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug or a type of drug that has no legal medical value. This, of course, is contrary to the ruling of some states which recognize the medical value of the drug; some states have even decriminalized it for (private) recreational purposes. And though the Washington Initiative 502 has experimentally allowed marijuana, everything about it (manufacture, growth, possession, etc.) is still subject under certain conditions, like the possession of license and the person involved should be, at least, 21 years old.

Marijuana contains THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, its key psychoactive ingredient. As any street drug does, marijuana also has many street names, including cannabis, grass, weed, pot, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, ganja, reefer, etc. For people who are caught with weed, the charges can be between misdemeanor and felony, with the amount of fines and length of jail term depending on the amount of the drug possessed. Nevertheless, these punishments are always better avoided due to their possible long-term effects.

On its website, the Dallas-based Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, state how a criminal charge can completely alter an individual’s life. It can affect his/her employment, even finding a place where he/she can live. A charge relating to marijuana possession is a hard battle to fight, though. And one has to know and understand that not all lawyers are equally good, some being more determined and competent than others. These are the kinds of lawyers one would need when charged with a serious crime. It would be to one’s real benefit if he/she will make sure that the defense lawyer he/she will hire is of such caliber.