Drug Arrests in Oakland
Drug arrests in Oakland do not mean an automatic guilty verdict. In some cases, a skilled defense attorney could get the charges minimized or even dismissed. Depending on the type and quantity of the controlled substance, a person could be facing anywhere from an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony charge. If you have questions regarding drug arrests, speak with a well-practiced lawyer right away.
Procedure for Drug Detainment
Most arrests begin with law enforcement observing what they believe to be a criminal act taking place, and subsequently initiating an arrest. The other way that an arrest may happen is based on information that the law enforcement has gathered over time. The law enforcement may ask or request that an arrest warrant be issued.
From there, the individual would be transported to the jail facility, booked into custody and then set up with a first appearance date, which is usually the arraignment where the charges that are being filed against him or her would be conveyed. People then can enter a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty. The only way people can move forward without fighting their case is by entering a plea of not guilty.
Does the Type and Quantity of a Drug Affect the Arrest Process?
In Oakland, the arrest process is likely going to be the same, whether it is a large or small amount of a controlled substance. However, in cases involving a larger quantity of drugs, the defendant is likely being surveilled by law enforcement in advance of his or her arrest.
Sometimes confidential informants are used to administer controlled buys. This is because larger quantities of drugs are often tied to trafficking or sales cases, while smaller quantities are typically for personal use. Therefore, while the arrest process may be similar, the potential charge and penalties will vary.
Aggravating Factors in Controlled Substance Arrests
Usually an aggravating factor that will impact the urgency of an arrest is whether the officers believe that drug trafficking is going to take place and they want to stop it before it occurs. In other cases, they may want to catch somebody in the act of exchanging controlled substances for money, especially if they are larger quantities.
There is also the concern that evidence of the crime may be destroyed. If law enforcement does not act quickly, they may not have the supporting evidence needed to corroborate their belief that a crime occurred.
Are All People at the Scene of a Drug Arrest at Risk of Facing Consequences?
Not everybody is always going to be arrested if they were at the scene of a drug arrest in Oakland. It depends on their involvement in the crime. If people are together and somebody in the group ends up being searched by an and drugs are found in his or her personal possession, there is no reason to believe that anybody else would be arrested if it is not in their actual possession.
It is apparent that this is a personal possession issue, versus a group of people being participating in sales transactions, the distribution process, or the packaging process with controlled substances. However, if they are active participants or it appears that they had knowledge or played a role in the criminal activity, then they may be facing exposure for arrest as well.
Rights of Someone Being Arrested for Drug Possession
Everybody always has their constitutional rights, including the right to be free from self-incrimination, the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures, and the right to have the assistance of counsel. At the time of a drug arrest, all those rights are active.
One of the most important rights to be aware of is the fourth amendment right against unlawful search and seizures. People do not have to consent to a search of their home, vehicle, or self without a warrant or probable cause. There is also no requirement that they give a statement or waive their right to remain silent.
Failing to exercise these rights could be damaging to a case. When people know their rights and know that they are entitled to refuse some of the requests that an officer may make, they could put themselves in a better position. It should be noted that people must comply with an officer’s orders, but they do not have to waive their rights.
What to Expect Following an Arrest for Controlled Substance
Following an arrest or a drug charge in Oakland, a person should expect that he or she will be transported to custody. He or she will appear before a judge to have the charges formally conveyed to them. Bail will be set if the person is eligible for it. Most drug charges will have a standard bail amount associated with them. However, if that person has other holds, like a parole or probation hold, there may be difficulty with getting bail set.
Every defendant has the right to an attorney, so he or she can expect to be referred to a public defender or will need to contact a private attorney. If a defendant is in custody, his or her family could obtain a defense attorney on his or her behalf.
The attorney may engage in motion filing, so either suppression motions or other pre-trial motions that might be relevant to the case. The attorney will also be engaging in pre-trial negotiations. From there, the case will continue until it reaches a resolution, it gets dismissed, or is set for trial.
Discuss Drug Arrests with an Attorney in Oakland
While drug arrests in Oakland do not inherently mean a criminal conviction, certain actions during the process could negatively impact your case. By working with a skilled defense attorney from the beginning, you could improve your chances of a successful resolution. A dedicated lawyer could review your charges, investigate the legality of your arrest, and defend your best interests throughout the process. To learn more, book your free case consultation today.