Virginia Beach Drug Possession Defense

Drug possession charges are quite serious and yield harsh penalties if an individual is found guilty and is convicted. As a result, someone facing charges of this magnitude should contact an experienced Virginia Beach drug possession lawyer immediately. A lawyer that is familiar with Virginia laws and has experience dealing with cases involving drug possession will be equipped with the tools necessary to build a strong case for their client.

First Steps to Take

It is common for individuals who are in the process of being arrested or have learned that they will be facing criminal charges to make certain mistakes in an attempt to help themselves. These mistakes typically do nothing more than incriminate them even more and make the job of their lawyer much harder than it has to be. Common mistakes include:

  • Not seeking representation or looking for alternatives
  • Confess immediately
  • They don’t relay all the relevant information about their life to their lawyer

Defense Process

A lawyer will immediately question whether or not their clients’ constitutional rights were adhered to when they were apprehended by law enforcement officers. They will also make sure that the drug that was confiscated was properly tested as required by the code. With regard to sentencing, a lawyer will also explain to a judge that the drug possession charge was a mistake rather than a habit. If what took place was, in fact, a habit, an experienced lawyer will explain to the court that their client is seeking help.

Constitutional Issues

The search process is typically one of the biggest issues that will present itself in a drug possession case. This is usually the case because while a police officer must have proper grounds to conduct a search, they don’t always follow protocol. Officers will sometimes search an individual and/or their property and will make up a reason for doing so later.

Benefits of Attaining an Experienced Lawyer

An experienced lawyer will know what the officer needs to do in order to justify a search and they will know what the code requires in order to justify a condition. They will also know what a judge finds persuasive; this at times involves convincing a judge to do a favor for the client. In many cases, a lawyer’s goal will be to explain any mitigating factors or convince a judge of why their client should receive lighter penalties.

An experienced lawyer who is familiar with the court system within their jurisdiction, as well as their areas judges and their temperaments, is going to know what a judge will and will not accept.

Importance Of Getting A Lawyer Involved Early

The sooner an attorney can work on a case, the more time they have to put together possible alternatives to punishment. In some cases, a lawyer might be able to get their client into a rehab facility, which can go a long way with a judge especially depending on the facts of the case. If a lawyer can tell the court that their client has completed a three-day inpatient program during the time that a case is pending, a judge will more than likely consider this progress. Strategies like that are one of the many reasons why having a lawyer involved is so crucial when dealing with drug possession charges.

Common Defenses Used By An Attorney

An attorney will analyze the amount of drugs involved in a particular case as well as whether or not said drugs were contested. Lawyers will focus a lot on how the officers involved in the case came in contact with the individual and how they found the drugs; those are the most fruitful avenues. If a drug is found on an individual during a search, an attorney can’t argue that they didn’t have it. In certain cases, depending on the circumstances of the case, they can argue a lack of knowledge, but it’s less persuasive with a judge.

A lawyer can also argue that the officer who discovered the drugs had no reason to search their client because there was no odor, and the individual didn’t give any permission. An experienced drug possession lawyer will argue that their client didn’t do anything that would make the officer suspect that there was anything illegal on him or her, and therefore, there was no reason for the individual to be pulled out of their car. This is what most attorneys will focus on – the grounds for the stop and/or the search.