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What to Expect in the Drug Court Process

It is important for a person to understand what to expect from a lawyer so that they can have a better understanding of the process their case will go through as well as the various ways the help of an experienced drug attorney can beneficially impact their case and, ultimately, their future.

When a person is charged with a drug crime in Michigan, the first thing that will happen is that the police will question the person, in which case they should assert their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent at that time. Once the accused has been charged, the first court hearing is called an "arraignment," which is when they will be brought in front of the court to be advised of what the charges are and what the potential penalties for those charges might be. During the arraignment is when the bond would be scheduled.

Bonds

There are two parts to the bond involved in drug charges: the money part, which is intended to assure future court appearances, and the conditions added to the bond, which are intended to keep the community safe while the person awaiting trial is on bond. With drug crimes, there are often high bond amounts. It is, therefore, very important for a person charged with a drug crime to hire an attorney right away so they don't end up with an outrageous bond.

With a drug charge, bonds are higher than they would be for other types of crimes, especially if it involves delivery because the idea is that a person who has been involved in drug trafficking probably has more resources to pay cash or assets to hire a bondsman. Additionally, many people believe a person involved in the drug trade have more of an incentive to leave the jurisdiction of the court, so bonds tend to be higher for that reason as well.

Pre-Trial

Once the case gets into the system and the person has been arraigned, then there would be a series of pre-trials and, eventually, if it is warranted under the circumstances, there would be a trial. At the pre-trials, the case would be looked at by the prosecutor, by the defense attorney and, sometimes, by the judge. Certain decisions would then be made including whether the case should move on to trial and whether it could be resolved without a trial. In this case, there may be some plea bargaining where the crime charged would be reduced, or where other crimes charged would be dropped, all in exchange for a plea of guilty.

Another thing addressed at the pre-trial phase is whether there might be any legal issues that need to be brought to the court's attention before the case can move forward. Therefore, if there are any search and seizures issues or any issues about violations of the Fifth Amendment, then those issues will be brought during the pre-trial process.

Contacting an Attorney

If a person decides to wait until after the arraignment to hire an attorney, they could end up with a much higher bond or more onerous bond conditions than are necessary. Another possibility is the person will have a court-appointed attorney at the very beginning of their case and become dissatisfied, later wanting to retain an attorney. The more time that has passed between the initial police contact and the time the lawyer is retained, the more likely it is that a strong defense will be lost altogether.

Client Reviews
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Patrick Barone is the ONLY choice for DUI defense. He was realistic from the start and made it a point to look at my case before taking my money. As a business owner, when I think of attorneys, I think of the "shark infested waters. Patrick is a shark alright, but his prey is not the client; it's justice for his client. Ten stars Patrick!! Chris F.
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Attorney Patrick Barone was very helpful and helped me understand the charge and sentence absolutely clearly. He also guided me through step by step helping me form a statement. His instructions were clear and detailed. It was obvious he cared about me understanding every important detail within my case. I would absolutely recommend this defense firm to anyone in need. Aaron B.
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The Barone Defense Firm is the firm I recommend. They are truly concerned about the person, not just the legal issue, but the person as well. They are the most knowledgeable defense firm that I am aware of, having actually written the book on DWI Defense. If you are faced with a DWI you will not find a more professional and skilled law firm. But, most importantly, they care about how the accused individual recovers his or her life when the case is complete. Very remarkable group of lawyers. William H.