Have You Been Charged with a Drug Crime in Idaho Falls?
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Idaho Falls or surrounding areas, you are likely feeling anxious about your future, wondering what you need to do to improve the outcome of these charges. It is normal that you are afraid of what may happen and totally stressed out. It can be a huge benefit to speak to an Idaho Falls drug crimes lawyer as quickly as possible.
You want an Idaho Falls drug crimes lawyer who has a wide range of experience with drug charges—in particular, both state and federal. You also want an attorney who will communicate with you and fight for you and your future. That attorney is John Cutler of Cutler Law Office, P.A. John fights for those in your situation or a similar situation every single day and will meticulously assess your situation, then carefully lay out your options.
What are the Drug Laws in Idaho?
The unlawful possession, sale, distribution, manufacture, or cultivation of controlled substances are serious crimes whether they are misdemeanor or felony offenses in the state of Idaho. To understand the charges or penalties that you may be facing, it will be wise to enlist the help of a knowledgeable Idaho Falls criminal defense attorney. At the Cutler Law Office, P.A., we can inform you of your rights and determine which legal options may be available to you given your particular circumstances.
Facts and Statistics Regarding Drug Crimes
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, there was a significant drop in the number of drug arrests across the nation in 2020. In general, 1.16 million Americans are arrested annually for the sale, manufacture, or possession of illegal substances, with marijuana making up a total of 26 percent of all drug arrests in the United States and 11 percent of the nationwide arrests for all crimes. (Although many states now have medical and recreational marijuana, the drug is still considered a Schedule I drug under Federal laws). Marijuana arrests have, however, dropped by 58 percent over the last decade.
Cocaine addicts are about 15 times more likely to become addicted to heroin, with 47,380 Americans arrested each year for the sale and manufacture of cocaine and heroin. There are 227,655 individuals in the U.S. arrested each year for the possession of heroin and cocaine. Individuals who receive prison time for their drug crimes could be sentenced at the state or federal level, although there are far fewer sentenced at the federal level, with 72,210 individuals sentenced to federal prisons for drug-related crimes each year and 171,300 to state prisons. Even though the federal numbers have dropped, 46 percent of all prisoners in federal prison are there for a drug-related crime.
How Can Idaho Falls Drug Crimes Lawyer John Cutler Help You with Your Drug Crime Charges?
As a former deputy prosecutor with more than 30 years of experience, John Cutler, has seen common mistakes that law enforcement officers make when performing an arrest, documenting evidence for a police report, or even instances of officers conducting illegal search and seizure raids. If we are able to determine that your constitutional rights were violated, we can file a motion to suppress or throw out, the evidence against you. This has helped our clients avoid maximum penalties, reduce charges, and in some cases, completely dismiss charges in state and federal courts in Idaho.
Attorney John Cutler makes a point of spending a significant amount of time in his first meetings with clients charged with a drug crime. This time is spent informing the client of what he will be doing and letting them know that he and his staff will update them regularly as the case progresses. John will let you know which hearings you must appear at and which he can appear on your behalf. By being thorough in these first meetings and taking plenty of time to answer questions and outline the process, most clients find they feel less stress when they leave the office than when they first arrived.
John will zealously defend your rights and your future, securing the very best outcome possible for your drug crime charges. When a plea is the best option for reducing your charges—and thus your penalties—John will discuss this with you, never making decisions that affect your life without first discussing the matter with you. If a conviction is virtually inevitable, John will work to reduce your sentence, avoiding jail time whenever possible.
What Does an Idaho Falls Drug Crimes Lawyer Do, and Why Do I Need One?
If you’ve been charged with a drug-related crime in Idaho, then you likely know the penalties are harsh—which means you need the best drug defense lawyer on your side. The legal process can be difficult for most of us to understand, and while representing yourself is your right, it is certainly not recommended. Those without strong legal representation are more likely to face jail or prison time, high fines, and even property forfeiture.
Having an experienced drug defense lawyer will ensure your rights are properly protected. This means that your attorney will thoroughly assess your case to determine whether the officers had cause to stop you in the first place and whether your Constitutional rights were violated at any time from the stop to your arrest. If there is a plea deal to be made that will benefit you, your drug defense lawyer will clearly explain the plea deal and will always be negotiating on your behalf for the best deal.
If no deal can be made, and your case will go to trial, your attorney will be 100 percent prepared for trial, presenting a case on your behalf that will help persuade the judge and jurors to consider a not-guilty verdict or lesser sentencing. Finally, if you are facing mandatory jail or prison time for your drug crime, your attorney will help prepare you for this consequence, helping you minimize the effects your incarceration will have on your family.
What is Considered Simple Possession?
“Simple possession” refers to the crime of possessing a controlled substance. It’s called “simple” to distinguish it from several other drug crimes related to the manufacturing and distribution of controlled substances. Possessing any amount of a controlled substance is sufficient evidence for a simple possession charge. These requirements, and the associated penalties, vary depending on the illegal substance in question. To classify the possession of drugs other than marijuana, Idaho uses the scheduling system. These schedules range from 1 to 6, with a schedule 1 possession charge being the most serious.
The Federal drug schedule is as follows:
- Schedule I drugs have no currently accepted medical use, along with a high potential for abuse. The drugs that are included under Schedule I drugs include Peyote, methaqualone, ecstasy, marijuana, LSD, and heroin. Despite being listed as a Schedule I drug, marijuana possession has been decriminalized in many states. In Idaho, possession of up to three ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor, while possession of more than three ounces is a felony offense.
- Schedule II drugs also have a high potential for abuse and dependence, and while these drugs may be used for medical purposes, they can also pose a danger to those taking the drugs. Schedule II drugs include Adderall, Ritalin, fentanyl, Dexedrine, OxyContin, Demerol, Dilaudid, methadone, methamphetamine, cocaine, and Vicodin.
- Schedule III drugs have a low to moderate potential for dependence—both psychological and physical. While these drugs do have medical uses, they have a lower likelihood of abuse. Schedule III drugs include Tylenol with codeine, testosterone, anabolic steroids, and ketamine.
- Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for dependence and abuse but do have accepted medical uses. Schedule IV drugs include Tramadol, Ambien, Talwin, Ativan, Valium, Darvocet, Darvon, Soma, and Xanax.
- Schedule V drugs have a low potential for abuse and dependence and are usually used for analgesic, antidiarrheal, and antitussive purposes. Examples of Schedule V drugs are Parepectolin, Lyrica, Motofen, Lomotil, and cough syrups with less than 200 mg. of codeine per 100 milliliters.
What is Considered a Misdemeanor Drug Crime?
Examples of misdemeanor drug crime charges include:
- Possession of small quantities of Marijuana
- Possession of, use of, or intent to use drug paraphernalia
What is Considered a Felony Drug Crime?
Examples of felony drug crime charges include:
- Felony possession of narcotics
- Felony possession of opium and opiates
- Felony possession of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
- Possession of more than 3 ounces of marijuana
- Sale, distribution, or possession with intent to sell opiates, hallucinogens, codeine, steroids, and prescription medication
What are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Idaho?
Penalties for drug possession will depend on the type of drug, the amount of the drug, and whether you have a prior drug conviction. If you are convicted of the unlawful possession of a Schedule I narcotics or Schedule II drug (a felony), you could spend up to seven years in prison, and be assessed a fine of up to $15,000. Possession of LSD is a felony offense with a potential prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of up to $5,000.
Possession of more than three ounces of marijuana is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Possession of Schedule I (other than narcotics or LSD), III, IV, V, or VI drugs are misdemeanors (depending on the amount), punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine as large as $1,000. Peyote is permissible in Idaho for Native American religious rites by those who are members of a federally recognized Native American tribe. The use of or possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, with penalties of up to a year in jail, and fines as large as $1,000. Possession of fewer than 3 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
How Do I Choose an Idaho Falls Drug Crimes Lawyer?
Perhaps you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who has used a criminal defense attorney in the past. If so, you might ask for referrals. You can also look online, then call several attorneys to speak with them about your case. At Cutler Law Office, P.A. we understand that you have choices. We hope you will give us the opportunity to speak to you about your drug charges and discuss how we can help you. We believe you will be impressed with our firm—attorney John Cutler is experienced, knowledgeable, and highly skilled. He has been practicing criminal law for more than three decades and can help you understand your drug charges and the potential solutions.
What Are Some Potential Defenses to My Drug Crime Charges?
If you are facing drug charges in Idaho, the specific defense your drug defense lawyer will use will depend on your circumstances and the facts and evidence surrounding your case. Some of the more common defenses to drug possession include:
- The drugs were not yours, rather they belonged to someone else
- The search for the drugs was illegal
- You were a victim of entrapment
- The alleged drug is not actually a drug
- Your Constitutional rights were violated
The prosecutor has the burden of proof—that is, he or she must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were knowingly in possession of an illegal substance. A zealous criminal defense attorney can make this difficult for the prosecution by crafting a very strong defense on your behalf.
What if My Drug Crime is Federal?
Federal drug charges are both harder to defend against and carry much harsher sentences. If your drug crime charges are federal, you need a drug defense lawyer who can also defend federal charges. Attorney John E. Cutler can defend your drug charges whether they are state or federal. Cutler Law Office, P.A. will fiercely advocate for you in federal court; our experience in this area is essential to obtaining the most positive result possible. You can give yourself a better chance in federal court by speaking to attorney John Cutler following federal drug charges. John will always be honest with you, carefully explaining all your options.
Contact an Idaho Falls Drug Crimes Lawyer Today
Time will not be on your side if you have been arrested for any of the crimes mentioned above. The sooner you call an Idaho Falls drug crime lawyer at the Cutler Law Office, P.A., the faster we can begin collecting evidence in your favor. Our skilled Idaho drug crime attorney may be able to uncover favorable evidence and create a compelling case on your behalf.