Russellville, AR asked in Criminal Law for Arkansas

Q: should I fight a possession charge that resulted from calling 911 for an overdose after we administered nalaxone?

It was a fentanyl overdose and they searched my apartment bc they said they knew my husband was a drug dealer and we are both on parole and they found drugs in our apartment and took us both to jail after saving someone’s life with Narcan that I received from a harm reduction organization and seeking medical assistance just in case. I just got out of jail from doing a parole violation and I have a class d possession and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a minor charge (s). Wanting to know my chances at beating this before I hire private counsel.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Conway, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: Seems like you would receive better treatment saving a life. When you are on parole, any law enforcement officer may search you, your home, your car, etc. A few years ago, I took the issue of who may search a person to the Arkansas Supreme Court after my client was searched by some police officers at a traffic stop.

My client signed documents before being released that, "you must allow your PAROLE OFFICER to search you upon request." My view was that it was the POLICE who were searching. The parole officer was not on the scene.

The Arkansas Supreme Court denied the appeal. So now, the police and any other law enforcement officer may search you. This is how the cops were able to search your apartment. So let's answer your question.

You must have a lawyer for the case. Public Defenders are great folk. They are too busy helping you to care for your family or spend much time with you. Still, they are clearly capable people. I would go with them for the most part. It doesn't sound like there will be a jury trial. I would get your PD recommendation and if you don't like it, then look for a private attorney.

The PD will cost you a few hundred dollars and should be able to keep you out of jail. A private attorney will spend a lot of time with you going over every option but it is unlikely you would have the charges dismissed. You would need to pay at least $7500 also. A lawyer who charges less is not going to have the experience.

With all that said, and without benefit of reviewing your file, I would recommend you request the Public Defender to take your case. If you don't like what they say, consider a private attorney.

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