Building A Defense For First Time Drug Charges in Virginia Beach

For drug charges, a Virginia Beach drug offense lawyer should start with how the drugs were discovered and confiscated. The search has to have been legally performed with adequate probable cause. There are also sometimes issues of whether the drugs were actually in the possession of the accused or if the police officer has to prove that the marijuana was constructively possessed by the defendant.

Constructive possession is when the substance is not on the defendant’s person but it can still be said that the defendant had dominion or control over the substance enough for it to be considered to belong to the defendant. Where the marijuana was located can sometimes be a hot topic of debate as to whether the defendant should be found guilty.

Another defense is in regards to the amount of marijuana in question. This is important because the charge can go from possession to possession with intent to distribute based on just a small difference in the amount of marijuana in question. Aside from just the amount, there are various factors that also should be considered in deciding whether the drug was for personal use or for purpose of distribution. A Virginia Beach drug offense lawyer will know how to properly present these in a persuasive manner.

The Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Virginia Beach 1st Time Drug Cases

The biggest mistake to avoid if you are suspected by an officer for a drug offense is to make a conviction easy for them. People do this every day in these cases. If someone is getting pulled over by an officer and there is marijuana visible in their backseat and they immediately admit that it belongs to them, then at trial it is almost impossible to convince the judge that there is reasonable doubt as to who the marijuana belonged to. Without the admission of guilt from the individual, this would be a great case for a strong argument regarding constructive possession. By admitting at the stop that the marijuana is theirs, the defense is essentially lost, which makes a conviction much more likely.

It is also important to remain polite and cooperative. It may not seem like it will have an impact on someone’s case if they are rude to an officer, but bad behavior is almost always brought up during trial by the police officer. Often if a judge is on the fence about a sentence, the way that the defendant conducted himself during the incident and in court will be enough to sway him in a more lenient direction.

Another mistake is allowing officers to search a vehicle that you know has marijuana in it. If the officer doesn’t have probable cause to search, then they can’t search without your consent. You shouldn’t consent. He wouldn’t ask for your consent if he didn’t need it and by consenting, you have made the case for trial even stronger. The best thing to do is remain quiet, not consent to anything and definitely don’t admit to anything. This also goes for giving consent to officers to search your home, or your person. It’s better for you in the long run if you make the officers take all of the necessary steps in order for them to perform a legal search. This requires them either to have probable cause, or to obtain a warrant. These requirements are only bypassed if you give your permission, and there is no incentive for you to do so, despite whatever the officers may tell you.