With large-scale drug investigations, there is a risk of innocent people getting caught up in the dragnet. Sometimes police and prosecutors become overzealous and charge people whose only mistake was being in the wrong place at the wrong crime. After all, just because you are in the presence of someone in possession of drugs does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of a drug offence.Thirty-three people have been charged in connection with a drug investigation that the OPP says started in 2012. Ages of the defendants range from youth to middle age, and the charges mostly relate to possession and trafficking of drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.The investigation reportedly focused on three counties, Huron, Lambton and Perth.It remains to be seen how the charges against the defendants will affect their individual lives. Not everyone accused of a drug offence is guilty, but a mere allegation can nonetheless have negative repercussions, including reputation damage.We discussed the negative effects of discredited criminal charges in one of our recent posts.If you have been accused of any kind of drug offence, then it is important that you seek early intervention from an experienced criminal defence lawyer. Preparation of your case should start as soon as possible to minimize the negative consequences. To obtain a drug conviction, prosecutors must establish an evidentiary connection between the defendant and the substance in question, and a criminal defence lawyer can begin scrutinizing the validity of such evidence early in the legal process.