Drug possession charges can result in significant legal consequences that may strongly impact a person’s livelihood. Building a Prince William County drug possession defense could largely improve a person’s ability to overcome the charge and fight for their rights. If you or a family member were accused of committing a drug possession offense, consider reaching out to a knowledgeable drug possession lawyer immediately. They could review the factors surrounding the alleged incident and work to establish a credible defense.
The most common constitutional issue that comes up in drug possession cases is the right to confrontation under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The United States Supreme Court has held that defendants have a constitutional right to cross-examine the laboratory expert who authored a particular report about the chemical identity of a substance if that report is being introduced against the defendant at trial. Virginia law allows for the prosecution to introduce such lab reports without bringing a witness from the state lab if the defendant does not object within a certain amount of time ahead of the trial. Oftentimes, bringing an expert witness from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science is burdensome for the prosecution, and they try to avoid that obligation in various ways. Some drug cases may be fought by making a constitutional objection to the absence of a confrontable witness in relation to a lab report if the objection has been properly preserved before trial by the defense.
Another common constitutional issue in drug possession cases is whether the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures was violated by the police when they recovered the drugs. The police must always have a sufficient level of justification to suspect the presence of a drug before they go hunting for it on a person or the person’s property. They frequently get overzealous in searching for drugs because they believe drugs have become commonplace in modern society. However, there are specific constitutional requirements that are often tested in drug cases related to the use of drug dogs, search warrants, confidential informants, pre-arrest friskings, and automobile searches. Someone who is charged with a drug violation may find it beneficial to aggressively start building a Prince William County drug possession defense as soon as possible.
When building a Prince William County drug possession defense a person generally should obtain legal counsel from an attorney who is well-versed in drug possession cases. They may be more familiar with how aggressively the prosecution may decide to prosecute an accused person. Furthermore, they may have some insight in how certain judges could react to the charge during court proceedings. In many cases, this knowledge could help inform a person’s decision to consider alternative sentencing, plea options, drug rehabilitation programs, or potentially disputing the correct classification, or testing of the drug the state laboratory.
Additionally, there are several arguments that a person could potentially assert as part of their defense strategy. One argument may include that the accused lacked knowledge or control of the drug when the substance was seized by law enforcement. Another argument that could be employed may involve the police lacking sufficient justification to search for the drug based on the initial encounter with the defendant.
The biggest mistakes to avoid in a drug possession case generally involve admitting to the offense to protect someone else, not hiring or consulting with an attorney before trial or questioning by a police officer, and adjusting one’s expectations about the outcome of the case based on general stereotypes, attitudes, or gossip from other people in society about what may happen in court.
If you were arrested and charged with any type of drug possession violation, consult a lawyer who is experienced in handling drug possession cases immediately. Waiting to contact an attorney or speaking to police without proper legal representation may substantially harm an individuals ability to refute the allegation. Anything that a person says to police may be used against them in the court of law. An adept drug possession attorney could help defend your rights and advocate on your behalf. Call and schedule an appointment today.
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