Interviewer: What are the penalties if you are convicted of possession or transporting illegal substances?
Michael Munoz: Yeah. On a Class Two felony – that’s what that is – you’re looking at a range anywhere from three to twelve and a half years in prison, with the presumptive being five years. That’s for a first offense.
Interviewer: Is there any possibility of probation, or TASK, or protection from Proposition 200 on these allegations?
Michael Munoz: You are not probation eligible if you’re convicted of a drug for sale offense on your first offense.
Interviewer: Is there probation in lieu of prosecution, like a diversion program?
Michael Munoz: No, not for that level of offense.
An Experienced Attorney Can Mitigate Drug Charges and Get a Better Resolution for the Client
Interviewer: Are you able to help get charges knocked down from that level to just possession in some cases? What can you do?
Michael Munoz: Absolutely. A good defense lawyer who works very hard on their case and puts together a good defense can always negotiate or knock down to lower charges and try to get a better resolution for their client.
What we do in my office is we do our own investigation. We look for holes in the state’s case from how the person was contacted by police, to how the police did the arrest, to whether or not the search warrants were valid. We attack everything with our investigation, and then we do whatever we can to get the best resolution for the client.
Potential Defense Strategies Employed By Attorneys for Drug Charges
Interviewer: What are some of the strategies? When people come to you they must be freaking out if they have all these charges against them. Are there any other ride-along charges that tend to come with these, and what are some of your strategies that you’ve done to help?
Michael Munoz: There’s no normal charge that comes with them. Sometimes there are conspiracy charges that are added. It just depends. Every case is different. There’s no normal.
In terms of how we handle cases, from day one we immediately start our own investigation. We don’t rely just on the police’s investigation.
We also challenge everything. The police say they made a stop in a certain way. We challenge the legality of it. If they say they got a search warrant, we look at the search warrant to see if it was a valid search warrant. We look at if the drugs really did weigh the amount that they said they weighed. We look at how the police got the information that led them to the suspect. We do a lot of different things. We challenge everything, and that’s how you put on a defense.
Defense Strategies Employed Depend Upon the Case Being Tried
Interviewer: Where are you finding the defenses nowadays? Is it really science-focused, or is it just that you have to look everywhere? What’s working and what’s not?
Michael Munoz: Every case is different. There’s no “you have to do this” type of defense with each case. One defense does not necessarily work for another case that has the same charges, because the facts in every case are always going to be different. The idea is when you have an open mind and you look at all the facts of a case, you craft your defense based on what you have to work with.