Do I Need a Lawyer for a Marijuana Charge?
If you have been charged with possession or possession with intent to distribute marijuana in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or anywhere in Hampton Roads, you should have an attorney to represent you. In some states Marijuana has been decriminalized, or enforcement of marijuana laws has been more relaxed in recent years. This is not true for Virginia, and particularly not true in the City of Virginia Beach, where marijuana laws are strictly enforced. In fact, if you are charged with felony Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, the prosecutor in Virginia Beach will likely seek to have you tried by a jury rather than a judge.
Consider these reasons to hire a defense lawyer for your drug charges.
Evaluating Whether the Police Did Their Job Correctly
There are many ways to defend against a drug charge by challenging the way the police conducted their investigation. For example, the officer must have a valid reason for detaining someone. Officers are not allowed to detain someone without reasonable suspicion of some criminal activity. Experienced drug possession lawyers know what exactly constitutes “reasonable suspicion” and what does not.
Another common defense involves forcing the government to prove the element of “possession”. This comes up in marijuana and drug cases where multiple people are together and marijuana is located near them, and one or all of them are charged with possessing it. The government must prove that it was actually or constructively possessed by the particular defendant charged with the crime.
If the police searched you and discovered marijuana on you or in items you had with you, that search can often be challenged if you did not consent to it. There are other defenses to marijuana possession or possession with intent to distribute that relate to the Commonwealth’s testing of the evidence and the Certificate of Analysis for proving the drug was what they claim it was.
Protect Your Rights in Court at Trial on Drug Charges
Drug charges in Virginia range from simple possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor, to felony conspiracy to distribute drugs. By presenting the court with evidence of your good behavior and record, our experienced Virginia Beach criminal defense attorneys will help the judge see past any unwarranted or severe charge that has been taken out against you. There is certain evidence in drug cases that is inadmissible — that the Judge or Jury should not know about. If you don’t have a knowledgeable attorney with experience defending drug cases, and don’t object to the right evidence at the right time, then it will be used against you at your hearing or trial.
Keeping a Virginia Marijuana Charge Off Your Criminal Record
By advocating for the reduction or dismissal of a drug charge, as well as by pursuing a verdict of not guilty, we can strive to keep your record clean. If you are convicted, even of misdemeanor possession of marijuana, that conviction will be a lifelong criminal record. Virginia convictions cannot be expunged no matter how much time passes. If you want to protect your criminal record, you have to make the right choices at the time you are charged. Contact us for a consultation on your possession or distribution of marijuana charge in Virginia Beach, or anywhere in Hampton Roads. From our offices in Virginia Beach, we serve clients charged with crimes in most courts throughout Hampton Roads.