If you are charged with a drug crime in Virginia, you face a serious charge.
Many cities are not offering any deals to defendants charged with drug crimes, and some are taking these cases to a jury trial, which can significantly increase the punishment a defendant faces. Possession offenses are charges that stem simply from having drugs. Drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and some prescriptions, are considered “Schedule I/II” drugs. These are your most common serious drug offenses. Most often, there is a traffic stop that leads to the discovery of the drugs. But there are defenses. For instance, were other people in the car? Where were the drugs specifically found? Was there a legal reason for the traffic stop? Were the drugs chemically tested to prove what they are? Was the traffic stop illegally extended? Other instances can involve a search of a home, an individual’s body, or many other situations. Many of the same defenses apply across every situation, and you need an attorney who understands these defenses and can make them properly to the Court. You may be eligible for what is known as “first offender” for these offenses.
Distribution offenses are much more serious than possession offenses, carry significantly higher jail time, and are nearly always felonies. Often referred to as “PWID” the most common charge is Possession With Intent to Distribute. This means that the defendant is alleged to have been possessing the drugs, but was planning to sell them.
All of the same defenses to possession offenses apply, with the added defense of punching holes in the government’s case about the intent to sell. There is no first offender program for distribution offenses, but you may have what is known as an “accommodation defense.”