Virginia is quite tough on drug crimes compared to other states. Even simple possession carries significant criminal penalties, including fines, jail time, and even license suspensions. If you’ve been charged with drug possession, you need immediate legal help.
Pendleton Law Group is ready to help you. Our drug possession lawyers in Richmond are ready to mount a vigorous defense against this charge. The state will make every effort to prosecute you, so you need a skilled criminal defense ally in the fight.
Defending a Drug Possession Charge in Richmond
Drug possession may seem like a straightforward charge in Richmond, but there are several legal twists that could throw out evidence. For instance, if the police did not have probable cause to search you or stop you, your Fourth Amendment rights will override the evidence.
Another factor is the chain of evidence custody. If the police find something they think is a drug, but it is then lost before the trial, that evidence could get tossed. One place this can happen is when the alleged drug is sent off for testing.
Another factor could be where the police found the drugs. You might face charges because drugs were found in your home, but they could belong to someone else in the household. If we can prove they owned the drugs, you could have your charges dropped.
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Fourth Amendment Rights
One of the rights we all share as U.S. citizens is that police must follow legal search and seizure procedures, which is detailed in the Fourth Amendment. Any evidence that wasn’t gathered lawfully can be thrown out in court. Even veteran police make mistakes.
Unless police have your consent or have a warrant, they are not allowed to search your property for illegal material. However, there are limitations to your rights. A drug possession lawyer in Richmond can listen to your story and determine if they followed the right procedures.
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What if the Drugs Were Planted by the Police?
One defense that some people try is to claim that the drugs were planted by the police at the scene of a search to justify an arrest. This is quite rare in practice and difficult to prove, but if there is enough evidence we can help you file a formal complaint that could protect you and help get a corrupt cop put away.
Entrapment is another possible defense when innocent people get caught up in drug stings. If you wouldn’t have come into possession of the drugs without the encouragement of an undercover cop, that could also be a defense strategy that your drug possession lawyer in Richmond can use.
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What About a Possession of Marijuana Charge?
The laws for marijuana possession have changed quite recently in Virginia. As of July 2021, Virginia now allows adults 21 years and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to four plants per household.
An ounce is marijuana is quite a lot for a single person. So, if you are a medical or recreational user, you’re not likely to carry beyond the legal limit. You can help yourself by understanding more about laws surrounding cannabis in Virginia and get the latest information.
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Simple possession of Schedule I & II drugs is a Class 5 felony in Virginia. This is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. These drugs include narcotics and opiates. Drugs on a lower schedule, like many controlled prescription drugs, have fines up to $500 and up to one year in jail as a penalty.
Drug scheduling is how the government classifies drugs based on acceptable medical use and abuse potential. States use this as a way to classify the severity of drug crimes, but even a conviction of a Schedule V drug can be enough to ruin your reputation and employment prospects.
Hire a Drug Possession Lawyer in Richmond
The Pendleton Law Group wants to help defend you against the charges of drug possession. Our drug possession attorneys in Richmond will study the evidence and see if your 4th Amendment rights were violated by the police. Your freedom is at stake.
Police must be kept honest about how they gather evidence of drug crimes because the consequences are so severe for convicted people. Call us immediately after you’ve been arrested for a consultation, or use our contact form.
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