Despite decriminalization efforts across the country and within some local jurisdictions, under Kentucky state law, possession of any amount of cannabis, called marijuana under U.S. laws, remains illegal. 

You can also expect to be arrested if you are caught in possession of drugs, including party drugs like:

  • Ecstasy 
  • Molly
  • LSD

If you are arrested for drug possession or other drug crimes, you should know what to expect. And if you were recently arrested for a drug crime, you may be wondering how long police have to file drug charges. What happens next? Here’s what you need to know. 

What To Do if You Are Under Arrest for Drug Possession

When you are first stopped by the police, if you know you are in possession of contraband, you might panic and feel emotionally overwhelmed. Especially if you are under probation or have a history of drug charges, you may feel the need to act to get yourself out of a tight spot.

Maintaining your composure is critical. Outbursts can lead to additional charges and if you start talking, you can get into deeper trouble. 

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

It’s not just a cop-show one-liner; it’s your Constitutional right. Exercise it! 

You are advised of your right to be free from coerced self-incrimination when the police tell you that “you have the right to remain silent,” but what does that mean? Under the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the government cannot force you to provide evidence against yourself. Let’s explore the many ways you can screw this up and waive your right.

Why Do the Police Say That You Have the Right to Remain Silent?

The U.S. Supreme Court made this a requirement in a case called Miranda vs. Arizona. You may think that the “Miranda” advisement is intended to be entirely for your own good. After all, when you are reminded of your rights, you will remember to exercise them. 

But it helps to know that the requirement relates to what the police have to do before they can use any evidence they collect from you. That’s right–the reason they tell you this is so they can begin to extract evidence that they can use against you in court. 

In Miranda, the court looked at the evidence obtained from a “custodial interrogation,” or questioning when you are under arrest. 

Your 5th Amendment right not to provide evidence against yourself extends to multiple kinds of evidence, including:

  • Spoken words
  • Written words 
  • In some cases, bodily secretions

Anything you say after the police give you the “Miranda warning” can be used against you in court, whether it was a response to a question or something you mumbled out loud to yourself. 

Basically, speaking after being given the “Miranda warning” can waive your right to silence. At any time during a custodial interrogation, you can stop talking and assert your right to speak to a criminal defense attorney. It is always better to assert this right first!

Do You Need a Lawyer if You’re Arrested for Drug Possession?

Some people may think you only need a lawyer if you’re arrested for a felony offense or a federal drug trafficking crime. However, even minor drug convictions can have serious consequences for employment and professional licensure. Some minor drug crimes can trigger deportation for immigrants present in the U.S. It’s always in your best interest to reach out to a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience handling drug possession cases.