A reported 25,000 Michigan residents attended the 2012 Electric Forest Festival. In the wake of the 4-day event, 8 individuals have been jailed, 49 suspects are pending arrest following review by the Oceana County Prosecutor's Office, and 45 felony drug charges have been brought against festival goers. Although those numbers may appear high, local police characterize them as normal, given the overall festival attendance.

If you are facing drug charges, don't delay in requesting your right to have an attorney present for any questioning. Even if you are contacted only as a potential suspect, an attorney can ensure that you don't volunteer any incriminating statements that may later be used as evidence against you.

A drug charges attorney can review the details of your arrest and determine whether any evidentiary challenges can be raised in your defense. American citizens have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. For that reason, a police officer's affidavit in support of a search warrant, supported by probable cause, is required for many searches. The affidavit must set forth enough details to demonstrate the reliability of the information and identify objectively suspicious activities that can provide a basis for the search.

In the case of the festival goers in this story, however, the police were already present to ensure crowd safety. For that reason, local police may have been authorized to stop and frisk festival goers, as an exception to the normal warrant requirement. Yet even if a search warrant wasn't involved in your arrest, an attorney can review the facts of your case to determine whether the initial contact with the police was lawful. Additional defense strategies might inquire into the actual purpose of any drugs or cash seized, as well as the credibility of confidential informants relied on by the police.

The consequences of a drug conviction can be severe, including high mandatory minimum sentences and potential repercussions to your future employment. An attorney can help you mount a successful defense.

Source: MLive, "Police at Electric Forest Festival make eight arrests, press 45 felony drug charges," Andrew Krietz, July 5, 2012