A jury recently acquitted former baseball player Roger Clemens of any charges for allegedly lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using any illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Federal prosecutors may attribute the loss, in part, to damaging testimony from two of their own witnesses. Both were key to the government's case: one was expected to testify about a conversation in which Clemens acknowledged taking human growth hormone; and the other, Clemens' former trainer, was supposed to describe how he had injected the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone. On the stand, however, the first witness admitted there was a 50% chance that he could have misunderstood the conversation, and the second witness' story contained many inconsistencies.

As this story illustrates, predicting the outcome of many trials remains a guessing game. For that reason, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced trial attorney if you are facing drug charges. An attorney can advise you of any litigation hazards you may be facing, as well as the impact of any evidence that prosecutors are planning to use against you. An attorney can also advise you when it might be more advantageous to accept a plea bargain to avoid uncertain trial results.

In many cases, however, a trial over drug charges will be unavoidable. Michigan and federal laws both provide for vigorous prosecution of drug-related offenses, such as possession, importation, cultivation, sales, distribution or trafficking. The penalties associated with these offenses have also become increasingly severe. Consequently, prosecutors may be unwilling to propose any non-trial alternatives, or any options that are offered may be unreasonable. At a time like that, you want an experienced trial attorney at your side.

Source: Forbes, "After Losing To Clemens, It's Time To Ask: Is The Government Overreaching?" Michael Bobelian, June 19, 2012