Being charged with drug offense has much in common with being charged with other crimes. First and foremost, each criminal offense carries with it elements that have to be proven in order to be found guilty, and standardized punishments if convicted. Now depending on the nature and circumstances surrounding the alleged criminal activity and the charges that ensue, the criminal case can either be heard in state court or in federal court. Many drug cases are federally prosecuted especially where evidence of drug trafficking is involved if there is evidence of commerce across state lines. Needless to say, drug trafficking charges, like many other felony charges, are serious.
In Shreveport, Louisiana, a major bust that involved about 10 individuals went down the afternoon of April 23. The sting allegedly uncovered a substantial drug trafficking ring. The police said their operation was done at an auto body shop following a duly executed warrant. The seizure allegedly uncovered copious amount of drugs including but not limited to marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and Hydrocodone. Some of the men arrested were charged with possession while others were charged with possession with intent to distribute based upon the amounts of drugs allegedly found.
Even in cases where the evidence seems overwhelming against a defendant, every defendant still has the right to defend themselves against drug charges. Once a person is charged with a crime, then the procedural aspect of criminal law comes into play. Prior to a court hearing the substantive merits of a case, in order for a criminal charge to stand up in court and be valid, procedurally everything has to be proper. This means that the all actions from the leading up to and including the arrest of suspects and seizure of evidence were done in accordance with state and federal law and any and all constitutional provisions.
Being arrested for a crime is merely the beginning of the criminal process, the outcome of which can depend both on the evidence presented and the procedure followed by the authorities.
Source: Shreveport Times, “10 arrested in Shreveport undercover drug sting,” April 25, 2015