The significant changes made to Oregon’s drug laws over the past decade have had a dramatic impact on policing in our state. Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, and decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of other drugs, means law enforcement officers who used to target low-level drug offenders must now find something better to do with their time.
However, old habits die hard, and some jurisdictions have failed to shift their focus, or flat out refused to tackle more serious crime issues. As a result, we are seeing an increase in the number of Oregon residents being charged with drug trafficking.
Attorney Michael Hughes defends Oregonians who are charged with trafficking marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, and other drugs. As someone who has been at the frontline of the “war on drugs”, he appreciates how easy it is for the government to charge people with drug trafficking and other controlled substance crimes.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Although our state has relaxed its drug laws, and has a thriving, state-regulated cannabis industry, many Oregon residents are being charged with drug trafficking.
ORS Chapter 475 prohibits the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of a wide variety of controlled substances. The state wants to strictly control the drug market, and stamp out any and all black market activity.
Drug trafficking is also illegal under federal law. To complicate matters, cannabis, psilocybin, and other drugs that are legal to possess in Oregon, are still classified as Schedule I drugs by the federal government. Certain activities that are legal under Oregon law can result in federal prosecution.
The consequences of being convicted of drug trafficking are quite serious. It is a felony under both state and federal law.
Prison sentences for drug trafficking can vary widely based on the type of drugs involved, the amount of drugs involved, and other factors. For example, a sentence may be harsher for someone who was selling drugs near a school, or who was in possession of a firearm at the time of their arrest.
A state-level conviction can land someone in prison for 5-20 years. The average sentence for someone convicted of federal drug trafficking charges is 76 months.
Being convicted of a felony also limits your ability to own a firearm, vote, and hold certain jobs for the rest of your life.
Putting up a strong defense is critical if you do not want drug trafficking charges to haunt you. Attorney Michael Hughes can help you face the charges head-on so you can aggressively defend yourself.
By Your Side Every Step Of The Way
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, Attorney Michael R. Hughes will stand by you every step of the way.
In many cases, the first thing Attorney Hughes will do is work to secure your release from custody. There is often no good reason for the government to hold you until trial, and Hughes can make that argument on your behalf.
In most drug trafficking cases, the key is linking you to any drugs that are considered evidence in the case. If that link can be severed, the charges against you will likely be dismissed or downgraded.
It may be possible to suppress some of the evidence-based on improper police actions. Unconstitutional police action can make any incriminating evidence obtained inadmissible in court. If the only evidence against you was improperly obtained, the case against you may be quite weak. Some examples of improper police actions include acting on invalid search warrants, unreasonable stops, prolonged detentions, and even coerced consent searches.
Attorney Hughes will also review the police report, any video of your encounter with police, and all the evidence the government has against you. Identifying inconsistencies or potential mistakes may get your case dismissed.
- Did the police fail to read you your rights?
- Were you coerced into making a confession?
- Can the evidence actually be linked to you, or is there something amiss?
If possible, he will also:
- Identify and interview potential defense witnesses
- Challenge any lab results or other evidence collected by law enforcement
- Collect and preserve exculpatory evidence
As your case progresses, the government may decide they do not have as strong of a case against you as they previously thought they did. They may dismiss the charges or offer you a plea bargain.
While the majority of drug cases in Oregon are resolved through plea bargains, Attorney Hughes does not push his clients to accept such offers. He will advise you of your options, and let you decide if you want to take the government’s offer or proceed to trial.
Post-plea deal or post-trial, Attorney Hughes will assist you in whatever ways he can. Whether your life is returning to normal, or you are preparing for significant changes, he will provide top-notch legal counsel.
An Attorney Who Understands Your Side
The fact that Oregon has relaxed its drug laws does not mean that Oregon residents are immune to prosecution for drug crimes. Attorney Michael R. Hughes defends Oregonians who face drug trafficking charges for violating state or federal laws regulating the possession, sale, or use of marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, and other narcotics.
As a seasoned criminal defense attorney and litigator, Hughes knows how easy it is to find yourself on the wrong side of the law. If you want to put up a strong defense against drug trafficking charges, with the help of an attorney who truly understands your side of the story, please reach out today to schedule an initial consultation.