Minnesota drug crime defense
Historical anomaly: Why would anyone need a drug defense attorney? Things sure have have changed.
At common law, before the 20th Century, drug possession and sale were generally not crimes. Drugs were not a crime. And people were free, from these laws.
These laws have a dark history, originating in xenophobia. And they would divide us and conquer us.
They undermine personal Liberty, self-determination and personal responsibility. And yet, government still enforces today’s Prohibition laws in our Minnesota.
What is at stake?
First time charges: People with no prior criminal record, usually want to avoid a conviction. And this can avoid a big loss in annual income due to employment background checks. But a criminal conviction record can also lead to housing discrimination; and worse.
Prior convictions: But for people facing a long prison sentence; the goal may be to reduce or avoid a long jail or prison sentence.
So we also need to consider Mandatory Minimum sentencing statutes, and the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines (prison commitments).
Need for a drug defense attorney: So with all that at stake; you need the best drug defense attorney.
Because a good drug defense attorney knows the types of cases, defenses, pretrial defense motions, and trial defenses and issues. And in addition, the best drug defense attorneys have experience slugging it out in Minnesota courts.
Turn things around; begin now
If you are facing drug charges, drug defense attorney Thomas Gallagher wants to help protect your rights.
And he will work hard to ensure that when the police investigates or the government charges you; they respect your rights.
These legal rights include appropriate search and seizure, arrest and interrogation methods, or evidence gathering methods. And Attorney Thomas Gallagher can stop prosecutors from using illegal evidence against you at trial.
Some targets of police investigations retain Attorney Thomas Gallagher as pre-charge counsel, to help reduce the risk of a charge; or a conviction.
Types of drug crime cases; Drug Defense Lawyer
Criminal charges in Minnesota may concern marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other opiates, and non-prescribed prescription drugs.
And they generally claim either knowing possession or sale.
Prosecutors charge sale crimes as felonies.
But they can charge illegal possession as a felony, gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor or even a petty misdemeanor. And the severity level generally depends on the substance and quantity.
But misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors involve plant-form marijuana possession only.
And though most drug crime defense cases are in Minnesota state courts; they prosecute some in federal court. But federal prosecutors tend to charge larger cases, harder drugs, and drug conspiracy cases.
Sale and Possession
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 152 contains most of Minnesota’s drug crimes. It labels most “Controlled Substance Crime” in the First through Fifth degrees. And a First Degree Controlled Substance crime carries the most severe penalty.
Factors that make a Minnesota drug crime more or less severe include:
- Possession or sale
- Identity of the substance
- Location and proximity
And so, the prosecution has the burden of showing evidence to prove each factor, or element. Therefore a drug defense attorney can defend cases on one, or more of these “elements.”
Take possession, for example. Criminal possession is
- knowing; and
- “dominion and control” over the contraband.
The prosecutor has the burden of proving that with evidence.
But the accused is innocent. And the drug defense attorney must prevent the prosecutor from overcoming the presumption of innocence.
The law requires the jury to resolve even one doubt in favor of the person accused.
So, what can we do?
Before trial: Some defenses can result in a complete defense win, before the trial. But other defenses may succeed in eliminating evidence or improving the opportunities for winning a jury trial. And your drug defense attorney can raise these defenses in pretrial motions at a Contested Omnibus Hearing.
Partial defenses: Another category of defenses attacks the more severe charges, often unfairly exaggerated by the prosecution. So we can ask the judge to dismiss charge enhancements lacking evidence.
Trial defenses: Defenses at trial provide the jury an opportunity to acquit the accused of one or more charges.
Sentencing defenses: And some defenses apply to sentencing rather than criminal liability.
Pretrial Defense Motions; Drug Defense Lawyer
Pretrial motions to suppress illegal evidence are ways to take illegal evidence away from the State.
So your drug defense attorney will consider pretrial motions to suppress statements and confessions:
- Involuntary Statements
- Statements in Violation of State v Scales, 518 N.W.2d 587 (Minn. 1994) (police recording required)
- Confessions in Violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
- Statements in Violation of Right to Legal Counsel
And Your drug defense attorney will consider pretrial motions to suppress evidence obtained by:
- Illegal Search Warrant
- Unlawful Arrest
- Illegal Warrantless Search, including persons, bodily fluids, cavity searches, automobiles, homes, buildings, containers
Trial defenses and issues
Your drug defense attorney will identify and raise trial issues including:
- Identity. If there was a crime, what proof is the that the accused did the crime?
- Substance Identity. What proof is there that the substance really is what the government claims?
- Quantity. Have the police and prosecution exaggerated quantity to inflate the charge?
- Mixture issues. In a mixture case, is it fair when the substance is dilute, residual or a trace amount?
- Knowledge. Does the prosecutor have proof that the accused knew the substance was there?
- Informant Incredibility. Coached, paid, scared — prosecution sock-puppets. Would you believe anything a coerced informant says?
- Dominion and Control. Have the police and prosecution manufactured a connection between the accused and the substance?
- Conspiracy. Does the state’s conspiracy theory make any sense? What proof?
- Entrapment and Sentencing-Entrapment. Would the crime have happened but-for government conduct? Or, did police pressure the defendant into a larger quantity than ever before?
- Jury Nullification. The jury has the legal power to acquit, bring a not-guilty verdict, regardless of the law or facts. This is the law, too.
The Gallagher Criminal Defense Approach
When you are facing drug charges, Tom Gallagher’s first action is to investigate police search and seizure methods.
So, if police found drugs in your car, did they have a legal reason for stopping you?
And, if police found controlled substances in your home, did they obtain the Search Warrant illegally? Was the search of your home unlawful?
But if the officers violated your rights in the search and seizure process; the evidence against you might not be admissible.
Born in Minneapolis, politically active, third-generation lawyer Tom Gallagher has lived in the Twin Cities all of his life.
So he knows the Minnesota court systems and the people involved. And his familiarity with the local courts gives him an edge, in knowing what strategies and negotiating tactics are successful.
Minneapolis Criminal Attorney Thomas Gallagher will help you identify outcome goals for your case.
He will help develop strategies to achieve those goals. And then, Tom Gallagher will work hard and patiently until success comes, or the fight continues through the court process. Because he loves the courtroom; and will fight tirelessly to defend your rights.
Does Your Drug Defense Attorney Have Experience?
Drug crimes may be federal court or state charges. And Attorney Thomas Gallagher has decades of experience representing clients in both courts.
So for example, one client faced charges in the largest federal drug conspiracy case in Minnesota history; with more than 60 co-defendants. And the federal prosecutors alleged 50 metric tons of cocaine (about $4 Billion).
As a Minneapolis defense attorney, drugs cases have been a large part of his practice – for decades.
As a marijuana lawyer, Thomas Gallagher has represented many people accused of growing marijuana (cannabis) indoors.
He has helped some avoid growing charges in the first place. And he has helped others avoid a criminal record of conviction, where there were no prior similar convictions.
If the investigating officers found guns when they searched and found illegal drugs; you could face additional years in prison.
Moreover, most drug crime convictions destroy your civil rights to firearms; for life in the case of a felony, or three years for a non-felony. So prevent the loss of civil rights to firearms by avoiding the conviction in the first place.
Avoid immigration problems
If you are a non-citizen; you could suffer serious, immigration law consequences as a result of a drug crime case. And even a legal Permanent Resident may face removal and deportation.
Many, unfair “mandatory minimum” sentencing laws push judges into sentencing drug cases unfairly. And they force extreme prison sentences.
Mass incarceration: This nation has the highest percentage of its people in prison, in the world. And prohibition laws are a big reason why.
But Attorney Tom Gallagher will work with you to both fight charges, and protect your liberty.
Forensic science experience
Minnesota drug defense attorney Thomas C Gallagher has experience using experts for forensic analysis of substance identity and quantity. And he studies the science thoroughly.
Moreover, Attorney Thomas Gallagher has experience working cases involving drug crimes investigators, detectives, and multi-jurisdictional drug task forces.
Accepting the challenge
We can challenge the government’s case and put it to the test. And with experience, thought and persistent effort, winning is possible.
After all, attorney Thomas Gallagher has successfully defended clients facing drug charges in Minnesota for decades.
So, would you like to put his experience to work for you?
The Next Step; Your Drug Defense Lawyer
If you are facing Minnesota drug charges, and want a dedicated lawyer on your side; contact Gallagher Criminal Defense.
You can now call Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher to discuss your criminal case at: 612 333-1500
Minnesota Drug Defense Lawyer Thomas Gallagher’s law office is conveniently located in Uptown Minneapolis. And you can find it at Hennepin Avenue and 35th Street South, four blocks south of Hennepin & Lake. So easy to find, with street parking.