Winchester Drug Crime Attorney
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Virginia, you have a lot at stake, as Virginia treats drug crimes more seriously than most states in the country. In fact, Virginia is leading the country with innovative approaches to reducing heroin deaths within the state. As mentioned in a 2016 Los Angeles Times article, Virginia is starting to treat heroin overdose deaths as homicides. In doing so, they are better able to lock up drug dealers and potentially reduce the amount of heroin available on the streets. While such rigorous practices can indeed save the lives of those in danger of overdosing, impassioned investigators can also mistakenly accuse individuals of drug crimes they have not committed. At Simms Showers, LLP, we represent individuals who are in jeopardy of losing their freedom or incurring serious financial burdens due to drug charges. Drug crimes in Virginia fall under three main categories: drug possession, drug sale or trafficking, and drug manufacturing. If you face charges in any of these categories, our knowledgeable Winchester drug crimes attorneys can help get you the best outcome for your specific case.
Unlike other misdemeanors or felonies, drug charges simply require the prosecutor prove a person was “knowingly” in possession of an illegal drug. The threshold for proving guilt in such cases is even lower because the court doesn’t have to prove actual possession. They can also prove a case on what is known as constructive possession. By this method, the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant knew of the location and amount of the illicit drug; and
- The illicit drug was subject to the defendant’s dominion and control.
The cases that rely on constructive possession are not as cut-and-dry as those where a person is convicted of actual possession of an illegal drug. Even a post in the Virginia Police Legal Bulletin asserted “Rarely a month goes by in the Commonwealth of Virginia where either the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court does not rule on a drug or gun case involving the concept of constructive possession.”
Drug charges are complex cases with severe consequences for those involved. Even if you were not in actual possession of a drug there may be circumstantial evidence that works against you such as odors, being in possession of a set of keys, and more. Our criminal defense attorneys understand the tactics used to convict drug cases and will work on your behalf from the very beginning when it might be appropriate to challenge the police’s search. Throughout we will continue to negotiate for the charges to be reduced and protect you from being scared into a confession of guilt. For first-time drug offenders there are sometimes alternatives to prosecution such as community service and drug education classes. Should your case go to trial, the attorneys at Simms Showers will lead an aggressive defense to give you the best possible outcome. Contact the compassionate and experienced Winchester legal team of Simms Showers, LLP today for immediate assistance with your illegal drug charges.