Being charged with a drug-related crime can be frightening due to the hefty penalties associated with a conviction. In Nebraska, federal and state laws may apply to your case and influence how your defensive strategy should proceed. Although the legal system can be confusing for a person facing drug-related charges for the first time, it can be comforting to know that you do have federally-mandated rights that can protect you during your trial. Here, are the rights you should be aware of when you are dealing with drug charges that can help your defense.
Protection Against Unlawful Search and Seizure
There is a combination of federal and state laws that govern when and how a search can be conducted. In most cases, a warrant must be presented before a law enforcement officer has the right to search your property. However, this law does not always apply in certain instances. For example, schools can authorize a search in areas that are considered their property such as lockers or student parking lots. Yet, being aware of your rights can protect you in instances where they law may not be followed. According to the National School Boards Association, one student had his drug charges overthrown when it was proven that an unlawful search was conducted on his car off school grounds. Technicalities such as this should never go unrecognized.
Right to Legal Representation
The Bill of Rights includes amendments that guarantee those accused of a crime the right to legal representation. If you are facing charges, one of the most important things you can do is to avoid making any statements without the advice of your lawyer. Even when a lawyer may not be affordable, the state must issue one for you. Therefore, you should always expect to have your right to legal representation upheld in Nebraska.
Guarantee to a Speedy and Fair Trial
Although there is some controversy concerning what constitutes a speedy and fair trial, you are guaranteed one. During the court proceedings, your lawyer will guide you through the process of ensuring that your charges are handled expediently and fairly. If your case goes to trial, then you are also entitled to a jury of your peers that is non-biased and capable of offering a fair judgment on your case.
Being aware of your rights can make the difference between serving jail time for your offense or having an unlawful case thrown out of the courts. Therefore, the first thing you need to do after a drug charge is seek out the advice of an attorney who is experienced in helping their clients uphold their rights. Then, communicate clearly with your attorney regarding the circumstances of your case so that you will have the best chances of ensuring your rights are upheld.