Being arrested can be a traumatic experience, especially if it’s the first time you’ve had such an encounter with police officers. You never thought you would be handcuffed and taken away in a police vehicle, but it just happened. What do you do now?

If you were arrested on drug possession charges in Lexington, KY, understanding what happens next could help you avoid mistakes resulting in a harsher sentence. Kentucky has very strict laws related to controlled substances (drugs). You can get into trouble very quickly without meaning to break the law. 

Whether you are innocent or guilty of drug possession, talking to a drug crimes lawyer about your charges is the best step you can take to protect your freedom and rights. 

What Happens After Your Arrest in Lexington, KY?

You are booked at the police station and placed in a cell. Remember, an arrest is not a guilty verdict. You should not admit to anything or talk to the police.

When you are processed, you should ask for your telephone call. Use that call to contact a criminal defense lawyer or someone who can find a lawyer for you. If you cannot afford a lawyer, request that the court appoint a defense lawyer for you.

However, if you can hire a defense attorney, that may be in your best interest. A public defender may not have the experience or time you need to devote to your case. 

During your arraignment, the judge will advise you of the drug possession charges against you and your legal rights. You are also given the opportunity to enter a plea. If you do not have an attorney yet, you may want to plead not guilty until you speak with a lawyer.

You should also ask for bail at your arraignment. Depending on the drug charges against you, the judge may or may not grant bail. If the judge grants bail, you can post bond and be released from jail pending the resolution of your case. 

How Long Do the Police Have to File Drug Charges?

Do not assume you are off the hook if the police catch you with drugs but don’t charge you.

Felony drug charges do not have a statute of limitations. You can be charged at any time. Misdemeanor drug charges generally must be filed within one year of the crime being committed.

There are several reasons why you could get caught with drugs and not arrested. There could be a more extensive drug investigation in progress. You could also be under surveillance for other reasons. 

What Happens if You Get Caught with Drugs in Jail?

Drug use in prison is more common than many people believe. Inmates gain access to drugs in a variety of ways. 

If you are in jail, you might think there is nothing more the state can do if you use illegal drugs in prison. However, you can face the same drug charges and penalties for possession in jail as you would if you were caught with drugs outside of jail. A judge could add time to your sentence and impose additional penalties that could make life in jail much more difficult for you. 

Drug Possession Charges in Lexington, Kentucky, Are Serious

You should treat any arrest for drug possession as a serious matter. 

Some do’s and don’ts to remember after a drug possession arrest include:

  • DO remain calm. You need to think clearly about what you do. Any outbursts or signs of resisting arrest could escalate the situation and make it more dangerous for you.
  • DON’T answer questions. You must tell the police your name and address, but you have the legal right to remain silent. The police officers may continue to ask questions or may taunt you. Do not give in to the urge to say anything to the police.
  • DON’T try to talk your way out of being arrested. The officers are not going to change their minds. It doesn’t matter who you know. Trying to convince the officers to let you go can make matters worse.
  • DON’T put anything in writing. Do not sign a statement or any documents that the police officers put in front of you. 
  • DO request bail. Staying in jail any longer than necessary is not pleasant.
  • DO call a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can review your case and develop a defense strategy that gives you the best chance to get out of the charges or obtain a less severe sentence.

Having a lawyer walk you through the criminal justice process can reduce stress. It also means you have an experienced legal advocate fighting to protect your rights.