The mug shot probably casts 50 shades of irony over a Kentucky woman arrested east of Marshall County. With an eyebrow raised, she looks into the camera wearing a black shirt emblazoned with the words "I heart crystal meth."
The 37-year-old who lives about 250 miles east of Benton faces charges of methamphetamine possession and first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Many readers will look at those facts and in their minds, convict her. It can be difficult at times to remember that newspaper stories and online articles represent just a tiny portion of the facts of a case: the portion given by police to a reporter.
The stories typically don't include details of an investigation, warrant or search, or fine points about possible mitigating factors such as addiction, treatment, human trafficking and more.
What can appear at first glance to be an open and shut case can often turn out to be something else entirely. This is what makes it so important for a person facing these charges to discuss the allegations with an experienced criminal defense attorney before giving any statements to police or prosecutors.
An experienced attorney understands the nuances of Kentucky's drug laws and understands as well how to negotiate with prosecutors and how to vigorously defend clients at trial.
Virtually everyone is agreed that our state takes drug law violations very seriously. In the case mentioned at the top of our blog post, for instance, the Somerset woman faces a penalty on the trafficking charge of not less than five years in prison and not more than 10, according to Kentucky law.
By themselves, those numbers make a convincing argument to sit down with an attorney to explore legal options.