Prosecution and Evidence in Richmond Drug Cases
Drug cases in Richmond are prosecuted very seriously, and law enforcement officials place high priority on these cases. Below, a Richmond drug lawyer discusses the details of what prosecutors and law enforcement officials look for when handling a drug case. To learn more about Richmond drug cases, call and schedule a consultation with an experienced Richmond drug lawyer immediately.
What Prosecutor Needs to Prove in Richmond Drug Offense Cases
In a drug offense case, the prosecutor or the state has to that you were either in possession of a drug or distributing the drug. Number two, they have to show what the drug was. They have to show this through analysis from the Department of Forensic Science the weight and the type of drug that was found.
Then what they’ll need show what the intent was with the drug. Was it for simple possession or was it for distribution? If it’s for distribution, they need to show either sales or the intent to sell through the tools of the trade whether that the baggies, scales or large amounts of cash.
Evidence in Richmond Drug Cases
In a drug case the prosecution will provide evidence of the drugs in question and a certificate of analysis as to what the drug is and to the weight. They’ll present testimonies from officers or confidential informants to testify as to possession or distribution. Then they’ll present evidence of other items found that indicate possession, intent to sell, or sales.
Typically, what a defense attorney will look at is how the evidence was obtained and if there were issues with any searches or seizures conducted by law enforcement. Then what an attorney will do is also try to do is challenge the state’s witnesses whether they’d be confidential informants or officers.
The most hotly contested issues in drug cases is how the evidence was obtained and was any search or seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Was there a probable cause to search your person or your property? Was there a reasonable or articulable suspicion to lead to such a search? And then was the evidence obtained properly? With these questions we are seeking to determine if we can get any evidence excluded based on improper searches or seizures.
Trends in Prosecution of Richmond Drug Cases
Prosecution in drug offenses is also trended more toward treatment than incarceration over the last few years especially in cases where it’s a first offense or we can clearly show it’s an abuse issue. Prosecutors come to realize that incarceration is not always the answer.
So, in cases where there’s no aggravating factors and when we can clearly show our client is amenable to treatment, well, prosecutors are often open toward negotiating alternative sentencing like drug court or first offender programs.
It’s developed this way because studies have shown that incarceration is usually not the answer and that treatment and alternative sentencing can have longer lasting benefits toward a community.