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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > What to Expect in a Drug Trafficking Case

What to Expect in a Drug Trafficking Case


At the end of a case, expect a plea bargain. Only about 2 percent of drug trafficking cases and other criminal cases go to trial. A plea bargain is a process, not a result. During this process, a skilled attorney, acting as your advocate, will strategically chip away at the state’s case until prosecutors are forced to surrender. This is when meaningful settlement negotiations can begin, giving you a sense of control and reassurance in your legal representation.

From start to finish, a competent Leesburg drug crime lawyer not only defends individuals accused of drug trafficking offenses. They also take the initiative to communicate with defendants. It’s crucial to remember that a defendant in a drug trafficking case could be anyone, from a typical drug lord to a person who innocently shares a leftover pain pill. This underscores the significance of having a skilled lawyer by your side.

Jail Release

Prompt jail release is not just a step but the crucial foundation for a favorable plea bargain agreement. Conversely, extended pretrial detention can make a drug trafficking case almost impossible to resolve successfully, underscoring the urgency and significance of this early stage in your legal process.

Instant jail release is usually unavailable in drug trafficking and other serious felony cases. Therefore, a Leesburg criminal defense lawyer must do things the hard way.

The hard way usually involves a bail reduction hearing. Initial bail reduction hearings usually happen at the arraignment, which occurs about seventy-two hours after the arrest. At this initial bail reduction hearing, which in a drug trafficking case is usually a bail-setting hearing, the judge considers many factors when setting bail, such as:

  • Severity of the offense,
  • Defendant’s ties to the community,
  • Defendant’s ability to flee the jurisdiction (money, passport, etc.),
  • Amount of bail money the defendant can pay,
  • Defendant’s threat to the community (which is usually significant in drug trafficking matters) and
  • Defendant’s criminal record.

Many traditional assumptions about these factors may be incorrect. The defendant’s criminal record is a good example. Most judges increase bail in these situations. However, if the defendant has no criminal record, the defendant is more likely to flee due to the “shock and awe” factor of the criminal justice system.

Pretrial Matters

If the defendant is granted bail, a Leesburg criminal defense lawyer has a chance to fully investigate the case. This investigation includes possible procedural violations, such as search warrant reliability issues.

Frequently, before they close in, police officers over-relay on the uncorroborated word of a paid informant. Many informants are paid in cash or leniency (e.g., give us a name, and we’ll drop the charges against you).

Many people will say practically anything for love or money. So, their statements are unreliable. There’s a difference between reliability and accuracy. A broken clock might be accurate, but a broken clock is unreliable.


If an attorney thoroughly investigates a case and reduces the amount of evidence the state can use, it’s harder for the state to prove the elements of drug trafficking beyond any reasonable doubt. Evidence reduction is critical because drug trafficking is often not very hard to prove.

The aforementioned leftover pain pill transfer is a good example. Prosecutors don’t have to prove that money changed hands or that the defendant ran a large distribution network.

But a lawyer has an ace in the hole in drug trafficking negotiations. Frequently, prosecutors reduce drug trafficking charges to simple possession charges. Each side gets something. Prosecutors score a conviction that helps them move up the ladder, and the defendant avoids a serious felony conviction.

Count on a Dedicated Loudoun County Lawyer

There’s a big difference between an arrest and a conviction in criminal law. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Leesburg, contact Simms Showers, LLP, Attorneys at Law. Virtual, home, and jail visits are available.



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