What Should I Expect From Drug Charges in Norfolk, VA?

The following is taken from an interview with a Norfolk drug lawyer. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options call today.

How Do Judges in Norfolk Treat Drug Cases?

Norfolk judges treat drug cases very seriously and will not hesitate to throw repeat offenders in jail. Judges are fair and they will typically grant a first offender a Deferred Dispossession if the defendant requests it and there is good cause showing why this is a good option that will ensure that the defendant does not become a repeat offender.

Is There Anything Unique in The Process of The Drug Cases in Norfolk?

There isn’t anything particularly unique in the process of drug cases in Norfolk, but like many other jurisdictions, Norfolk takes drug cases very seriously and prosecutes them to the fullest extent of the law. The one aspect that is unique about Norfolk is that there is a very large military population, particularly navy. It is important for these particular types of clients to be aware that they face the possibility of not only being punished by the courts, but also facing disciplinary proceedings through the military which oftentimes results in a loss of rank, lower pay, or a loss of other privileges, if it doesn’t result in them being discharged. This is something that is important for military clients to prepare for when they are facing these serious drug-related charges.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Norfolk Drug Cases?

The most common misconception about Norfolk drug cases is the same misconception that people seem to have about most charges in general and that is they mistakenly believe that they have to speak with the police if a police officer questions them. Many people are not aware of their rights, specifically their right to remain silent despite seeing it in a million TV shows and movies throughout their lives and then they fail to exercise it when it matters the most. Often times people will end up telling a story in an attempt to tell the officer what they believe will get them out of trouble and then they just make the entire situation that much worse.

Many people seem to believe also that they will be ‘Let Off Easy’ if the amount of the drug in question was small. This may be true with something like marijuana depending on what someone’s definition of ‘Let Off Easy’ is but with bigger drugs like cocaine possession,  any amount is going to be charged as felony, even if it is only a trace of a residue. In fact the only drug that would be a misdemeanor in a drug charge of possession with an intent to distribute is marijuana; then a smaller amount will make a difference but if the amount is more than half an ounce that is possessed then it becomes a Class 5 felony which would have someone facing 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $2500 fine on top of that.

Another misconception is that if there is a mandatory minimum for the sentence then the defendant will not have to serve the entire time and can just get out early. If there is a mandatory minimum it truly is mandatory and the defendant will be serving the entire time which is different from a Class 1 misdemeanor where the sentence is up to 12 months but there is no mandatory time. If someone is convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor sentence of let us say of one month then they actually only have to serve half of that time.

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