Danckert Bärlein Partner

Criminal Narcotics Law

The state continues its battle against drugs with uncompromising toughness. Without professional defense, an individual can quickly become collateral damage of this conflict. Most people with practical experience cannot deny that the repressive drug policies of recent decades have failed. Even high-ranking legal officials now advocate a fundamental change. Nevertheless, investigators continue to use these unreasonable laws to pursue people who generally need help, not punishment. It makes little sense for the state which imposes taxes on tobacco and alcohol to penalize the distribution of marijuana and other soft drugs.

In practice, enforcement in this area often does not conform to the rule of law. All too often, investigations are opened with an inadequate factual basis – on the basis of, at most, a “suspicion of a suspicion”. When law enforcement uses the many techniques that are routine in such cases – such as surveillance, telephone taps, and monitoring of suspects’ homes – it rapidly loses all sense of perspective. The use of so many resources builds pressure to successfully resolve cases, which leads to questionable measures, such as the use of agents provocateurs. Only now are courts and lawmakers finally barring this practice, which is unworthy of a state that claims to observe the rule of law.

The problems persist into the trial on the merits. Even illegally-obtained can be used by the court if neither the defendant nor his lawyers object in time. All too often, convictions are based on evidence from witnesses who were involved in the crime, but whose testimony is accepted without sufficient critical scrutiny.

It goes without saying that our lawyers take the task of defending our clients’ rights and the principle of the rule of law especially seriously in these cases, in which the state’s overpowering investigative apparatus seems to leave clients with no chance.

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