Protecting Victims of the War on Drugs – Chicago Drug Possession Lawyers
The government’s “War on Drugs” has resulted in the diversion of massive amounts of financial and law enforcement resources toward narcotics crimes. However, these efforts have resulted in substantial hardships for many struggling with dependence on illicit narcotics and prescription drugs. If you are charged with possession of controlled substances like methamphetamine, heroin, powder cocaine, rock cocaine (crack), ecstasy, marijuana or any other illegal narcotic, you may face incarceration and substantial fines. Depending on the quantity of the drug, you may be charged with possession with intent to distribute and face a mandatory minimum sentence.
Chicago drug possession attorney Robert J. Callahan has almost two decades of experience as a criminal defense attorney with a focus in the specialty area of drug crimes litigation. At our narcotics crimes defense law firm, we know that a drug conviction even for possession for personal use can result in a harsh impact on many aspects of your life, such as:
- Loss of freedom (incarceration)
- Termination from employment (future barriers to employment)
- Damage to your personal and professional reputation
- Mandatory participation in drug education and counseling programs
- Adverse impact on your family relationships
- Barriers to educational and financial aid options
- Forfeiture of property (homes, cars, monetary funds)
- Negative treatment by landlords
- Denial of immigration related privileges and benefits
Mr. Callahan has devoted much of his professional career to representing those struggling with substance dependency so that they can reclaim their lives and avoid these devastating consequences. We recognize that because of the intense focus of the federal and Illinois government on the drug war many good people have been treated as collateral damage. We are dedicated to defending our clients zealously so that an isolated mistake or substance dependency issue does not derail the lives of our clients. Our dedicated team of Chicago drug possession lawyers recognizes that many of our clients need treatment rather than the incarceration sought by overzealous law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
There are a range of effective defenses that Mr. Callahan has successfully employed while fighting hundreds upon hundreds of drug cases during his 23 years handling narcotics related litigation. Some of these defenses our attorneys have utilized in drug possession criminal cases in the greater Chicago area include:
Lack of Possession: Many arrested on drug possession charges face criminal prosecution because they were found with drugs in their proximity. However, the mere fact that drugs were located close to you does not mean that you were in “possession” of the controlled substance. Mr. Callahan may successfully argue that the drugs were not yours or even that you were unaware that they were present. For example, drugs may be stored under the seat of your car by a passenger without your knowledge.
Fourth Amendment (Search and Seizure) Violations: When the police pull you over for speeding or similar moving violations, they do not automatically have the right to search your vehicle. While the officer may peer through the window during a lawful stop and observe items in “plain view,” the officer may only conduct a more thorough search of your trunk without consent or further factual evidence justifying a search. Drug enforcement officers also sometimes search a residence with a defective search warrant or based on a non-applicable exception to the search warrant requirement. Even when a warrant is valid on its face, officers must comply with the terms of the search warrant and may not conduct a search beyond the scope of the warrant.
Unreliable Informants: Drug enforcement agencies frequently use informants with unsavory criminal histories and serious reliability issues in sting operations. Mr. Callahan aggressively challenges the credibility of informants and other witnesses that may have incentives to lie for consideration in their own drug possession cases.
The penalties for drug possession in Illinois depend on a variety of factors, including the following:
- Quantity of the controlled substance
- Identity of the narcotic drug
- Location within a thousand feet of a park, school, church or other protected zone
- Past criminal record
At the drug crime defense law firm of Robert J. Callahan and Associates, we carefully evaluate substantive evidence, law enforcement procedures and lab testing to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We also seek exclusion of evidence obtained in violation of constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizures or violations of our client Miranda rights to counsel and to remain silent.
If you are arrested for possession of narcotics in Chicago or anywhere throughout Illinois, you should immediately invoke your right to legal counsel and decline to answer any questions until your Chicago drug defense attorney is present. YOU SHOULD NEVER ANSWER QUESTIONS OR DISCUSS YOUR CASE WITH THE POLICE WITHOUT YOUR ATTORNEY!
The Chicago narcotics criminal defense law firm of Robert J. Callahan & Associates is committed to aggressively protecting our clients from incarceration and damage to their reputation. We offer a free consultation so contact us today by calling us 24/7 at +1 (312) 322-9000 or Contact Us online by submitting an online contact form or through our Live Chat.