Prosecutors are eager to tack on any additional criminal charges that they believe they can make stick. Even if it turns out that they would not be able to prove these charges in a criminal trial, the charges can serve as leverage during plea negotiations. By combining a number of different criminal charges the prosecutors create the potential for sentencing enhancements that can dramatically increase the potential period of incarceration that a person may be facing.
From the prosecutor’s point of view, any time that law enforcement can conduct a search of a residence, there is an opportunity to discover any number of things that may allow for additional charges or enhancements. When faced with criminal charges, one of the most important factors in obtaining the best possible outcome is challenging the introduction of evidence that may be detrimental to your case.
In one recent raid carried out by a collection of Georgia law enforcement agencies, the search warrants were apparently related to an effort to investigate robberies in a downtown neighborhood. When police officers knocked down the door, they claim to have found not only two video game systems that had been reported stolen, but also crack and powder cocaine, prescription drugs and paraphernalia.
One of the residents of the apartment was charged with possession while another was charged with possession with intent to distribute, as well as a separate charge for intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a public housing project. A search of a second apartment resulted in similar charges against the resident of that apartment.
Source: Online Athens, “Dealers’ apartments raided; part of strategy to reduce downtown Athens robberies,” Joe Johnson, May 17, 2012