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How Often Do Drug Cases Actually End Up Going All The Way To Trial?


Trials are rare, in general. Drug cases rarely go to trial, unless there is an issue about who actually possessed the controlled substance. For instance, if you have a number of people in a car in which there is contraband found in the center console, there can be a reasonable doubt as to who the substance belongs to.

Do Attorneys As Well As Defendants Try To Avoid Taking A Drug Case To Trial?

There is not really any reason for an attorney to take a drug case to trial unless the plea offer is just so terrible that there is nothing to lose. As a general rule, attorneys avoid trial because it is very time-consuming and stressful. The stakes are high. There are a lot of unknowns and it can be unpredictable. Clients avoid trial for all of those same reasons, as well as for the additional costs of trial.

What Does A Plea Deal Look Like In A Misdemeanor And A Felony Drug Case?

The offers for resolution depend on many factors, particularly the client’s previous criminal history and the facts and circumstances of the case. The specific prosecution office and specific prosecutor you are dealing with will be the main factors in determining an offer. The defense attorney’s evaluation of the offer is basically in light of all of those same considerations, the strengths and weaknesses of the individual case, and any available defenses. Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to take an offer and settle a case resides with the client and all an attorney can do is advise them as to the probabilities and the best course of action.

What Are Some Reasons That You See Drug Cases Specifically Be Dismissed?

The most common reason for the dismissal of drug cases is evidence showing that the person did not actually possess the substance, especially when there are other people involved at the scene. Another reason would be missing evidence or reasons relating to the arresting officer, whether the officer has been disciplined and is no longer a reliable witness or the officer fails to show up to testify. These cases can also be dismissed for an unlawful or illegal search or seizure, meaning perhaps the officer was not justified in initiating a traffic stop or was not justified in escalating the traffic stop to a drug investigation. A drug case may also be dismissed pursuant to an agreement between the parties called the Plea Held in Abeyance, where the prosecutor agrees to dismiss the case after successful completion of some agreed-upon terms. Most frequently, those terms are a period of good behavior, payment of a fee, and perhaps community service or probation.

Do People Have An Idea Beforehand What A Drug Case Trial Will Consist Of?

Many times, people think of what they see on television or in movies as a trial, which is accurate to a certain extent, but inaccurate in the sense that it is sensationalized for entertainment purposes. There are not usually shocking, dramatic moments that make for good television in an actual trial. Trials usually can be quite dry and boring.

Can You Walk Me Through The Process Of What A Drug Case Trial Would Look Like?

A case that might go to trial is one in which there is a single occupant in a vehicle, who is driving someone else’s car, gets pulled over, opens the glove box, and out falls a bag of marijuana. He is the only occupant in the vehicle and so the officer naturally cites him for possession of marijuana. It turns out the driver did not know that the drugs were there. He secures a clean drug test, but the prosecutor is not willing to dismiss it and intent on going forward. That is an example of a case that I would have no problem taking to a jury, where the client is claiming actual innocence and we have the evidence to corroborate that.

How Does Attending NA or Other Forms Of Rehab Impact A Drug Trial?

Attending substance abuse programs is a factor that can affect the outcome of negotiations. It can also affect the outcome of sentencing. However, to a jury or a judge, those kinds of mitigating, after-the-fact circumstances do not have any bearing on the question of actual guilt or innocence at a trial.

For more information on Drug Cases Going To Trial In Utah, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 455-1743 today.

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