Virginia Drug Crime Defenses
The drug laws in Virginia are notoriously harsh. However, just because you are accused of a drug crime in Virginia does not mean that you will necessarily be convicted. There are many defenses to drug crimes that a qualified drug crimes attorney can raise to help you prove your innocence to the court.
Drug Crime Defenses:
- Prosecution Cannot Prove Possession – If you are charged with the crime of possession of a controlled substance, the government must prove that you were in possession of the substance. What counts as “possession” can be debatable. Possession generally means anywhere the defendant has sole control over, but a good attorney can help to question the government’s accusation of possession.
- Not Knowingly Possessed – The government must prove that someone knowingly or willfully is in possession of drugs in order to be guilty of possession. Mental state is hard to prove and defending the possession charge on these grounds may be a good defense.
- Not Drugs – Many substances look kind of like drugs, and one way that drug crimes can be defended is by the defense attorney questioning the government’s proof that the defendant knew that the substance in question was a drug.
- Illegal Stop/Search/Seizure/Arrest – Another way to defend against a drug crime is to prove that the evidence that was collected by the prosecution was obtained unlawfully. There are many ways that evidence may be thrown out because the police violated the constitutional rights of the defendant. If there is no evidence, then the government will probably not be able to prove that a drug crime occurred.
- Proving Distribution – Some drug crimes are based on the theory that the defendant was planning to distribute (sell, trade, or give away) the drugs. In order to be found guilty of an intent to sell charge, the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant was planning to sell the drugs. This can be difficult to prove.
- Jurisdiction – A jurisdictional defense relies on either the police or the court operating outside of their jurisdiction. The power given to police and courts only works in their respective jurisdictions.
What to Do if You Have Been Charged with a Drug Crime in Virginia
Just because you have been charged with a drug crime does not mean that you will automatically have to face the penalties. If you are arrested and/or charged with a drug crime, the first thing you should do is contact a skilled drug crimes attorney. If you are arrested, you should take advantage of your right to remain silent until your lawyer gets there.
Leesburg Drug Crimes Attorneys
If you have been charged with a drug crime you need a knowledgeable drug crimes defense attorney to defend you against the charges. Our experienced drug crimes attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP in Leesburg, Virginia can help to reduce or defend the charges brought against you. We represent clients in Leesburg, Loudoun County, Prince William County, and throughout northern Virginia.