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Building a Defense for a Maryland Federal Drug Case

A federal drug attorney will always prepare the defendant before trial. This includes keeping them informed of their rights, advising them on their appearance for their court date, and deciding on whether or not they should testify. They will also ensure that no constitutional rights have been violated, and if so, will file motions to suppress evidence found through a violation of those rights. Below, a seasoned federal drug attorney speaks about some of the ways a lawyer will help prepare a defendant for trial. A dedicated lawyer who is experienced with building a defense for a Maryland federal drug case could help you.

How an Attorney will Prepare a Defendant for Trial

Building a strong defense for a Maryland federal drug case is crucial to preparing for trial. A person’s federal drug lawyer prepares them for their trial in a number of ways. First, the attorney makes sure that the person understands what is alleged against them. The attorney tells the person how the government will try to make the case against the person and what possible defenses are available to the person in this case.

Often, there are discussions about what the person’s demeanor is to be like in court, specifically how the person is to be dressed. Most importantly, a decision is made between the person and their attorney about whether they should testify in their case. An individual facing a criminal charge is never required in the United States to take the stand in a criminal case under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. That applies to state and federal courts.

The Right to Testify

Under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, a person is entitled to not testify in a case. A finder of fact cannot use the person’s decision to not testify against them in a case. A jury cannot hold the person accountable for not testifying in a matter.

On the other hand, there is the question of whether a person’s testimony might be helpful. From a real-world perspective, juries and finders of facts like to hear from the defendant in a criminal case. Sometimes, a person’s words shed the most light on a particular situation because that person was present at the time of the event and can provide an explanation of what happened from their perspective.

The decision to testify or not testify in a person’s case is one that the person should make with their federal drug attorney. By testifying, the person could be exposed to certain questioning they might not otherwise face if they decide to not testify in their case.

Refuting Evidence

Usually, drug cases are not won or lost in the courtroom in a trial. They are won or lost in the courts at a motion hearing where the judge determines whether the prosecution is permitted to place certain information into evidence at trial.

For example, the most important pieces of evidence in any drug case are the drugs, drug-related paraphernalia, large amounts of cash, or scales or things indicative of what the government is trying to prove in the drug case. Attorneys file “motions to suppress” to try to keep that evidence out of court or out of the evidence the jury hears at trial. If the attorneys are successful in keeping evidence out of the trial, the prosecution generally does not have a case to move forward with and the charges against that individual are completely dropped.

These kinds of charges are brought against an individual after some kind of search has been effectuated either in their home, in their car, or of their person. Searches must comply with the Fourth Amendment standards and procedures. Attorneys may challenge a search and seizure if the authorities did not properly comply with the standards or procedures of the Fourth Amendment. If a judge finds there was no proper compliance with Fourth Amendment procedures, they could suppress the evidence against the defendant. When the challenge is successful, a federal drug attorney keeps the defendant from having to deal with evidence found on their premises.

For more information about building a defense for a Maryland federal drug case, get in touch with a seasoned lawyer today.