Basics of Drug Cases in Virginia Beach

In the following series of questions, Virginia Beach drug attorney discusses the penalties and constitutional problems associated with drug cases in Virginia Beach.


The most common way I have seen drug offenses charged in Virginia Beach is when someone is pulled over for a routine traffic stop for something completely unrelated to drugs and the officer then is somehow alerted to probable cause for a search and finds marijuana.

Another common way is when there is an undercover informant who tips off the police officers and they get a search warrant and search a house. This has been pretty consistent throughout the years.

Do You Need to Consent to a Search?

If a police officer stops you on the streets and asks you if they can search you, you do not have to consent at all. Officers need probable cause to search somebody. In general, if they are asking you for your consent, it is because without your consent they don’t have enough cause to search you.

What Penalties Can You Face in Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach consistently adheres closely to the statutory guidelines present in the drug offense cases. This means that judges and prosecutors don’t get very creative in sentencing and it is routine across the board for defendants to get the exact same penalties for the same charge.

Important Constitutional Issues in Drug cases

Most drug offense cases start with a traffic stop or a property search.

The Fourth Amendment is sometimes violated right here at the very beginning, which can then make it possible to prevent the evidence obtained from being admitted as evidence in trial. Sometimes, it can result in the case being dismissed altogether. Police officers are not perfect and sometimes they can be careless and make mistakes in their procedures. For a search under the Fourth Amendment to be valid there must be either a valid search warrant, consent given by the defendant, or probable cause.

Other constitutional issues arise when the defendant makes a statement while interrogated by the law enforcement. It is possible then for someone’s Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights to be violated. Any statements that were made after the arrest without having the defendant’s Miranda Rights read to him are inadmissible in a court of law and they cannot be used against the defendant. Once again, this can result in evidence not being admitted or in the dismissal of the whole case.

It is imperative to have a good drug offense lawyer who will carefully analyze your case to determine whether your rights were violated at any point along the way, and who will find any mistakes by law enforcement in your favor to build a strong defense in your case.