As the summer heat takes old in Louisiana, most residents are probably looking forward to taking some time off to relax and cool off. One Louisiana police department decided to do exactly the opposite, launching a massive investigation over the span of several months in an effort to net a group of people they suspected of illegal activity involving drugs. Whenever major drug crimes make headlines, it can be difficult for people to remember that despite the initial facts that the media has reported, on some occasions those accused of drug crimes are not guilty, and all those accused have a right to present a solid criminal defense.
Dubbed “Operation Summer Heat” by police, the four-month investigation resulted in 13 arrests, and nine more people who have been accused but not yet apprehended by law enforcement. The charges vary from misdemeanor possession all the way up to multiple felony counts for manufacturing and distribution. Police did not indicate whether any of the accused were allegedly working together or if the arrests were made for separate incidents.
When people are accused of drug crimes, they may feel as if they are already facing consequences for a crime that they have not been proven guilty of committing. Especially when accusations are highly publicized and have catchy nicknames like “Operation Summer Heat,” those accused might fear that having their name and face associated with such an incident will affect their chance to present their side of the story in a court of law. On many occasions, initial reports are not entirely accurate, and often one-sided as they are presented by law enforcement to the public.
Each of the accused will have the opportunity to present a criminal defense in a court of law. Being accused of a crime is a far cry from being guilty. In these situations, a criminal defense attorney may be helpful. An attorney well-versed in criminal law knows how to navigate certain aspects of defense, such as establishing reasonable doubt, questioning evidence and making sure both sides of the story are presented to the judge or jury.