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Drug charges may indicate the need for rehabilitation program

The New Hampshire State Police issued a press statement reporting the recent arrest in the state capital of a Lakes Region woman on drug charges after they entered her home with a search warrant. The arrest, which occurred on July 12, involved drug charges pertaining to the alleged sale of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of Suboxone. Apparently, the narcotics and investigations unit had "eyed" the defendant for a single event of the sale of meth and had allegedly executed a search warrant accordingly.

It is always important for defense counsel to make a detailed investigation of all of the facts surrounding the issuance of search warrant. This must be done to assure that state and federal requirements have been met. The warrant must be made out based on information from reliable and proved sources that the police have dealt with previously.

Hearsay accusations or information from anonymous sources will not support the granting of a search warrant. Furthermore, counsel must determine whether the affidavit of probable cause and the warrant describe with particularity the place to be searched and the contraband that is being sought. Warrants are to issue only upon the sworn affidavit of a law enforcement officer in which allegations constituting probable cause are set forth. The accused here is being held on $5,000 cash bail, indicating that the amount of drugs involved is likely relatively small.

In this case, the incarceration of the individual for drug charges is probably misplaced. There is ample evidence that she has a personal problem with drug addiction. There is growing evidence of better ways to reduce the plague of illicit drugs, such as through drug courts or other pretrial rehabilitative dispositions. Defense counsel will attempt to process the matter through a program under New Hampshire law that will addresses the source of the woman's problems instead of an expensive incarceration that will merely feed the cycle of criminalization.

Source: Concord, NH Patch, "Alleged Concord Meth Dealer Arrested by State Police", Tony Schinella, July 12, 2016

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