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Dinwiddie Drug Lawyer

Drug laws and the constitutional elements present in every drug case are fluid, constantly changing, and can be confusing to the average person. Furthermore, a lot of people don’t know which drugs are and are not illegal, or the penalties associated with different substances. This makes being charged with a drug offense nerve racking.

A conviction of possession or distribution of drugs can lead to suspension of driving privileges, loss of the constitutional right to possess a firearm and the right to vote,  in addition to long prison sentences and expensive court fines. Furthermore, a conviction can lead to loss of security clearance, loss of employment, and can make it very difficult to gain employment in the future. Lastly, there is also a terrible social stigma involved with being branded as an addict or a dealer in the community.

For this reason, it is very important to contact a Dinwiddie criminal lawyer as soon as possible. A Dinwiddie drug lawyer can work to ensure a person has a strong defense on their side to combat the potential penalties they are facing for their charges.

Drug Classification

Illegal substances are classified under Virginia code section 54.1-3446 through 54.1-3456. In general, the more serious drugs have lower schedule classifications. For example, being in possession of schedule one or schedule two substance, such as cocaine or heroin, is a felony offense, while possession of a schedule six drug is a misdemeanor.

The Virginia General Assembly, when categorizing drug offenses and schedules, found that the substances with the most addictive qualities and most powerful effects were the most dangerous. These types of substances are classified as schedule one and schedule two substances and generally have a harsher effect on the body and the brain and have a more negative impact on society at large.  Given that fact, charges associated with possession or sale of these substances are more serious, felonious, and carry heavier consequences.

Common Crimes

Some of the most common drug crimes in Dinwiddie are simple possession of marijuana, simple possessions of schedule one and schedule two drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Marijuana has become more accepted across the nation and it has been decriminalized in DC. Being so close to a territory where marijuana is decriminalized leads to a mistaken belief about the substance and its penalties in Dinwiddie. Often, people in Virginia believe that the consequences are nominal if arrested for charges related to it. However, in Dinwiddie, possession of marijuana is class one misdemeanor with a first offense carrying up to 30 days in jail, and every subsequent offense up to 12 months increasing the need for a drug attorney in Dinwiddie.

Drug Enforcement

Drug crimes are taken very seriously in Virginia. The Dinwiddie police department devotes focus and mission teams to stopping the sale, manufacture, and possession of drugs. Consequently, an attorney is necessary to navigate, investigate, and defend a person.

Drug enforcement begins with the training and experience of individual officers. Certain officers are placed on special drug teams and task forces specifically designed to stop the use and distribution of narcotics. The officers on these teams are trained and experienced in street level narcotics use and distribution. These officers are also able to identify patterns that suggest drug activity. Through surveillance and investigations, these officers secure search and arrest warrants, which lead to convictions.

Law enforcement officers in Dinwiddie are trying to crack down on the possession, distribution, and manufacturing of all scheduled substances. This includes Codeine, Methamphetamine, Heroin, and certain prescription drugs, if possessed without a valid prescription. Furthermore, so long as marijuana is illegal in the Commonwealth, officers are constantly cracking down on its possession and distribution.

Fortunately for individuals charged with a first-time drug offense, the General Assembly saw fit to create statutory first offender programs that can lead to the dismissal of misdemeanors and felonies. Virginia Code Section 18.2-251 allows an individual charged with a first offense possession of marijuana or possession of a felonious level controlled substance to have the case dismissed if they comply with certain conditions including community service, drug screening, and treatment.

Constitutional Issues

The Fourth Amendment protects the citizens of the US from illegal searches and seizures. There needs to be probable cause to search and seize individuals or their property, so any search or seizure done without probable cause can lead to the evidence obtained during the illegal act to be thrown out. The ultimate question of whether probable cause existed or not is an issue involved in nearly every drug case.

The Fifth Amendment provides individuals with the right to remain silent, which is also a constitutional issue that is present and prevalent in most drug cases.

A Dinwiddie drug lawyer, however, can be familiar the nuances in the law and constitutional elements that are present in every drug case in order to prepare the proper defense, ultimately leading to a reduction in or dismissal of a person’s charges.

Contacting an Attorney

It is imperative for a person to contact a drug attorney in Dinwiddie as soon as they are alerted to any police action involving them. The presence of an attorney will protect them during an investigation, assist them in protecting their interest, and ultimately lead them to make the right decisions to defeat any subsequent charges, and in certain situations keep them out of harm’s way altogether.

If a person has been arrested for a drug charge, a Dinwiddie drug lawyer can assist them in all pre-trial matters, including bond, investigation, discovery, and any other motions that need to be filed and argued.  The attorney can represent them during their trial and if necessary, argue sentencing. The sooner that an attorney is hired, the better their defense of a person can be.