Virginia Drug Charges
Drug charges are some of the most common criminal offenses in Virginia. Convictions of these criminal offenses result in a criminal record and cause major disruptions in a person’s life. In fact, the mere accusation of possessing any controlled substance or possessing with the intent to distribute can result in the termination of employment.
From simple marijuana possession to possession with intent to distribute heroin; drug charges are serious. Therefore, if convicted, you are looking at the potential of jail, high fines, suspension of your driver’s license, loss of federal education loan benefits, and government subsidies.
However, despite harsh Virginia drug laws, important statutes exist that, if applied properly, help you avoid a conviction for a drug charge. It’s surprising how many lawyers don’t know these statutes and how to apply them.
Beyond those remedies, the Dischley Law’s Attorneys all prosecuted drug charges in Virginia. Attorney O’Brien spent most of his career focused on the prosecution of drug offenses. Consequently, our attorneys know what prosecutors want and need to hear to consider alternative resolutions for drug charges. Our proactive approach ensures that when we speak to the prosecutor on your behalf, your interests are protected.
As a result, Dischley Law’s Attorneys can save you from the possible effects a drug charge conviction in Virginia can have on your family and livelihood! Lawyers well versed in drug offenses can mitigate and potentially convince the prosecutor to dismiss your Virginia drug charge.
Challenging Drug Charges in Virginia:
When your attorney reviews your case, he will be looking at a number of factors to determine whether the Commonwealth has sufficient evidence to prove its case and whether that evidence was legally obtained.
- The Stop: A careful look at the initial interaction with law enforcement and its validity.
- The Search: An in depth analysis of the constitutionality of the search that lead to the recovery of the substance.
- Statements: Were the statements voluntarily given, the result of a knowing and intelligent waiver of Miranda, or covered by some exception.
- Possession: Actual or Constructive – was the substance found on the person or close enough to the person that they could exercise dominion and control.
- Knowledge: Consider whether the possession was knowingly and intentional. A person must know the nature and character of the substance.
- Analysis of the Substance: How was the substance initially analyzed to determine what classification it is. Field test or sent to lab.
- Ensuring all rights protected. DC-304 is a form that must be provided to the defendant informing him or her of the right to have the substance analyzed by the lab if the substance is marijuana.
What substance have you been charged with possession or distributing? Click below to learn more.
- Prescription Drugs (Examples: Oxycodone, Adderall and Xanax)
- LSD (a.k.a. Acid)
- MDMA (a.k.a. Ecstasy or Molly)
DRUG CHARGES: PROTECTING YOURSELF
- REMAIN SILENT – This means not answering the police EVER or AT ALL.
- CONSENT TO NOTHING – Do not agree to a search, do not agree to answer questions – agree to nothing.
- KEEP WALKING – If a cop approaches you and says can I ask you a few question, or can I speak to you, or even hello. Say nothing and keep walking. Make him stop you.
WHY? If you have drugs on you, make the officer ‘seize you.’ If the officers orders you to stop, searches you despite you not giving consent, and forces you to make statements under duress or coercion, they need to justify it under the Constitution. If it is not justified, it is not lawful and the charges must be dropped. All to often individuals make the case for the officer by consenting and confessing. Do not let this happen to you.
Assertive and successful defenses start the moment the interaction with the officer starts. A lawyer can not win a case for you when you have cooperated fully with law enforcement. With prior law enforcement experience, its hard to give this advice. Most times, you want to strike a balance between being cooperative and protecting yourself. When in doubt, say nothing, agree to nothing, and ask if you can leave. Be polite and do not make the officers job harder than it already is. If he tells you turn around, turn around but only when he ‘orders’ you to do it.