Being charged with a drug crime can be a terrifying experience, especially because a conviction for a drug crime in Massachusetts can have serious penalties. The penalties become even more severe if the crime is not a mere possession crime, but a distribution crime, and if the amounts of drugs involved are large.
If you are arrested and charged with selling drugs in Worcester, it’s important that you understand your rights. Here’s what you should know:
You Have the Right to Legal Counsel
Perhaps the most important right that you have, and which you should exercise immediately upon being arrested and charged with a crime, is the right to legal counsel. Do not talk to police or anyone else without a lawyer present; instead, politely state that you are exercising your right to remain silent and that you would like to exercise your right to legal counsel.
You Have the Right to Know the Charges Against You
You cannot just be arrested and put in jail; the police must tell you what you are being charged with. Further, you also have the right to an arraignment hearing, where charges against you will be formally read. As your case progresses, you also have a right to know what evidence the prosecution has against you.
You Have the Right to Defend Yourself
When the charges are read against you at your arraignment hearing, you will have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). You do not have to plead guilty; instead, you have the right to defend yourself against charges, and this is a right that you should absolutely exercise.
You Have the Right to Be Presumed Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Something that many people who are charged with a crime are quick to forget is that they have the right, per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to the presumption of innocence. This means that you cannot be assumed guilty; you must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If any doubt regarding your guilt exists, a jury cannot convict you. Remember that this does not mean that the burden is on you to prove your innocence during a criminal case, but rather that the prosecution has the duty to prove your guilt.
Call Our Worcester Drug Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing criminal charges for selling drugs in Worcester or surrounding areas of Massachusetts, you may be facing large fines, years in prison, and a tarnished reputation if convicted. When you hire our skilled Massachusetts criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, you improve your chances of a favorable case outcome. To schedule a free consultation, please call our law office directly today at (978) 397-0011. You can also send us a message online at your convenience.