Felony Possession of Controlled Substance in Hennepin County (Brooklyn Park) Case Study
Charge: Felony Fifth Degree Possession of Controlled Substance 152.025.2(a)(1)
In January of 2014 my client was charged with possession of a controlled substance. She was approached by police for not paying a bill at a bar. She became uncooperative during the dispute and was placed under arrest.
Client was approached by police after she allegedly failed to pay for a bill at a bar and restaurant. When the officer’s questioned her she became abusive and uncooperative and was arrested. During the arrest process it was discovered that she had in her possession a controlled substance, specifically cocaine. She was held in jail for three days and ordered to post bail in the amount of $3,000.00. After posting bail she was released pending her court date. Client was charged with Felony Drug Possession punishable by a maximum of 5 years in jail and/or a $10,000.00 fine. Client aggravated the situation by being charged with a DUI while her felony case was pending.
After review of all of the reports it became apparent that the issue was whether the officer’s had probable cause to search her purse or if she gave consent to search her purse. It is imperative to diligently search for defenses in an effort to get the case dismissed, reduce the charge or develop a strategy that allows for a positive resolution. Based on the facts it was clear that the officer(s) search of her purse was the critical issue in the case.
My client was proactive and had a chemical dependency evaluation which I was able to disclose to the prosecutor. It was apparent that she had a more substantial alcohol issue than drug issue which was primarily based on depression. This did not excuse or provide a defense for her charge but it showed good faith to the prosecutor.
After diligent review and research of the search issue I approached the prosecutor in the effort of resolving the case. I argued that the search was questionable and maintained this appeared to be an isolated incident which was verified by her alcohol and drug assessment. We were able to agree to a diversionary resolution where my client would not be convicted if she were able to successfully complete the Operation De Novo program. Simply put, if she complied with the program the case would be dismissed and she would not have any conviction on her record.
This resolution was critical because if convicted she would have a felony on her record and had many of her personal freedoms (right to Vote, housing, employment, etc.) taken from her. By the diversionary resolution she was granted a second chance to maintain those freedoms and become a productive citizen.
By being proactive and using the issues to our benefit we gained an amazing result. She was not ordered to serve any jail time and upon good behavior for one year and completing a program her criminal charge will be dismissed in their entirety.
By having a credible relationship with the prosecutor and sculpting the resolution to satisfy the concerns of the prosecution and judge but allowing my client to keep her license a win-win scenario was created.
My client was very happy with the outcome and extremely appreciative of the second chance. The resolution (s) allowed a young woman to maintain her employment and housing and keep a felony conviction off of her record. It is critical to get to know your client’s background and personal issues and do the required research to determine if there are any defenses to the case. The prosecution and court are oftentimes willing to be creative when a client shows good faith and has taken proactive steps to show that they have attempted to remedy their problem(s).ys able to right the ship quickly and avert consequences that could damage my client’s life, employment, etc.
Most clients don’t realize how important it is to have a clean criminal record and particularly no felony convictions on their record. Employment, housing, voting, loans, possession of firearms, immigration, etc. are all areas that can be restricted or prohibited if a felony conviction is placed on your record. It is imperative to contact an attorney immediately upon getting charged with any criminal offense and specifically a felony offense to determine whether it is possible to resolve the case or dismiss the case in an attempt to keep a criminal conviction off of your record.