Your Virginia Legal Team

Process of a Prince William County Drug Case

When a person receives a drug charge in Prince William County, they can expect that they are going to be searched, their house is going to be searched, and potentially their vehicles as well.

Law enforcement is going to talk to your friends and family and will probably also be interrogated themselves so that law enforcement can ask about other individuals that he or she has come in contact with through the course of the person’s dealings with whatever substances it is.

Interacting With Law Enforcement

a person can expect a significant amount of contact with the police about the case and a significant amount of intrusion on his or her life. Depending on the substance, a person can also expect to be held until his or her court date.

If a person has had convictions in the past, or is dealing with a very high-risk substance, he or she is going to be dealing with a very problematic set of facts against him or her.

Administering Charges

Usually, for drug cases, a magistrate is going to serve an arrest, especially because most drug cases turn out to be felony cases. If it is a marijuana offense, it would occur in the presence of a police officer who can issue a summons or arrest the person, depending on the specific case.

As far as administering the charges, once a person is into the system, it is going to fall in the hands of the Commonwealth’s Attorney who will have the full discretion of whether or not to continue to bring these same charges against the person, to escalate the charges, or to reduce the charges to something else.

Even before it gets to the judge, it is going to go through the hands of the police and magistrate. From there, the Commonwealth’s attorney will be the one prosecuting the charges.

Getting Charges Dropped

Once a person has a drug charge in Prince William County, it cannot be dropped until it has preceded a certain amount of way into the system. The police cannot do anything about it. The magistrate cannot do anything about it. The judge is not going to do anything about it at the beginning.

A person is going to have to wait until after the person is arraigned or advised, which is after the person’s initial appearance in front of the judge, perhaps even after a bond motion. Even then, the charges can only be dropped at the request to the Commonwealth’s Attorney through a motion called Nolle Prosequi or nolle pros, which is the common slang.

Then, the prosecutor is making a motion in front of a judge to not proceed with the charge against the person at that time. That is the only way that a person’s Prince William drug charge is going to be dropped before it enters into a more formal stage.

Later on, the judge can dismiss the charge against the person, but that is after some of the evidence has already been heard. There is no way to get it dropped while the person is waiting in jail before his or her first appearance. Unfortunately, once the wheels are put in motion, the person is stuck until a certain point in the process and the prosecutors decide to drop the charges.

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