How Drug Offenses Are Charged in Newport News

If accused of a drug related offense in Newport News, it is imperative that you understand exactly what you are facing and know your rights and what to expect. With these things in mind, the following is information on how drug offenses are charged and prosecuted and what evidence may be presented against you. To learn more and begin building a defense call and schedule a consultation with a Newport News drug attorney today.

Most Common Way Drug Offenses Are Charged

The most common way drug offenses are charged is from routine traffic stops. The majority of people tend to be caught when they’re getting pulled over for something completely unrelated to the drugs and then the officer is alerted to the drugs in some way such as when they smell marijuana in someone’s vehicle or when there is a bag of some illegal substance in plain view inside the vehicle.

Another very common way that drug offenses are charged is due to confidential informants or undercover police officers who have gotten involved in drug purchases.

If Stopped On The Street Do You Have To Consent to a Search?

No. Officers have the right to stop you but they don’t have the right to search you for whenever they want. There’s no reason that you should consent to a search by an officer if they don’t have a reason otherwise. Generally, if an officer is asking you for your consent to search you, it’s because they do not have any other means of legally conducting a search.

In order for an officer to search you without your consent, they need to have reasonable articulable suspicion. In order for them to have justification for patting you down, they have to demonstrate that they were concerned for their own safety. In these kinds of situations, sometimes they’ll pat you down and follow up by asking if they can reach into your pocket after the pat down. Or they will ask directly what do you have in your pocket.

You don’t have to give them information or answer these types of questions. The only reason they’re asking is in hopes of you saying okay, and then there they have their consent to search you.

What Needs To Be Proven in a Newport News Drug Case

The prosecutor in a possession case needs to prove that the defendant had possession of the drug and that they either had knowledge of the drug or should have had knowledge of the drug, and they were in control of it. For a possession with intent case, they have to prove additional evidence such as a higher amount of the substance, or that there was enough evidence in terms of scales or baggies, or a list of names to demonstrate that there was the intent to distribute.

In distribution cases, the prosecution has to prove that there was a higher amount of drugs or that there were active sales.

Evidence Used in Drug Possession Cases

In Newport News drug offense cases, the officer’s testimony related to how they discovered the drugs is typically always presented. There may be additional evidence such as videos or audio evidence or anything that was found along with the drugs, like scales or other paraphernalia. Sometimes, there will be witnesses. In cases where there are undercover informant officers then there will be additional testimony from them.