Newport News Drug Possession Charges

In Newport News, drug possession charges are extremely serious. The severity of the charge can be impacted by various factors such as the type of drugs, the amount of the drugs, the defendant’s prior record and the facts surrounding the incident in question. Depending on the type of drug and the amount of found, the charge can change from a misdemeanor to a felony, which makes the possible penalties change pretty drastically as well. For these reasons, if you are charged with drug possession it is important you consult with a Newport News drug lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin building a defense.

Penalties for a Drug Possession Charge

Newport News follows Virginia’s first offender’s program which is kind of a second chance for people who are facing a first time conviction of drug possession. In these kinds of situations, the judge will continue the case for probation and allow the defendant to complete a series of court-imposed requirements. These requirements include community service, 24 hours for misdemeanor and 100 hours for a felony, a treatment or education program needs to be completed, the requirement of remaining drug and alcohol free throughout the whole probationary period and submitting for random urine test during the probationary time as well as paying all of the costs associated with the deferred sentence.

In the end, when the defendant comes back to court after usually a six-month period, if they have completed all of these requirements, then the court will dismiss the charges. However, later on if the defendant goes on and commits another drug related crime, then they will be charged as though it were a second offense.

Constitutional Issues

In Newport News possession cases, the type of constitutional issues that tend to come up are the same types of constitutional issues that routinely come up in every type of drug case. That is, fourth amendment and fifth amendment issues. With fourth amendment issues, you have to analyze how the drugs were found and how the search was conducted by the officer.

Both must be done in a very particular way in order to not violate the defendant’s rights. Oftentimes, if these rights are violated, then it can result in a case being dismissed because none of the evidence that was found is able to be admitted. With fifth amendment issues, your attorney will challenge any statements that you made after you were arrested or detained and then questioned by officers if your Miranda Rights were not read to you or if you requested an attorney and were not given an attorney.

Importance of Contacting a Drug Possession Lawyer

It’s important to contact an experienced Newport News drug possession lawyer early on because you want to give your lawyer time to view all of the discovery and figure out the best method of action and go from there. Sometimes, it also will require multiple conversations with the prosecutor to get a good deal and it’s really in your best interest to have an attorney as soon as possible so that they have all of this time available.

Getting an attorney early on in your case will benefit you because it provides your attorney more time to set you up for success. In some cases, there are steps that you should be taking before court as well and having an attorney immediately ensures that you can begin taking those steps as quickly as possible. Drug possession convictions can have very detrimental effects on your life so it’s definitely not something that you should waste time by waiting on it.