Fredericksburg Drug Trials

Fredericksburg drug trials can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first drug offense. That is why it is important to get in contact with a lawyer that can evaluate your case, and help you determine what steps you should take next. This attorney can also explain the trial procedure, how to conduct yourself in court, and where and when your trial will be. If you have been charged with a drug offense and are in need of legal counsel, consult an experienced drug defense attorney today.

Duration of Drug Trials

Most misdemeanors are going to run a person about 60 days from the time of the arrest, to the time the case is finalized and that is not including any kind of post-trial probation that a person may be on or if there is a first offender program then that is going to take a little bit more time, but generally speaking, from arrest to the time that the case is heard and disposed of, it is going to run about 60 days to two months.

But felony cases are anywhere from 90 days to 120 days, a person is looking at anywhere between three months to four months.

Most drug cases are typically heard in two courts—the General District Court and the Circuit Court. All misdemeanors are going to be heard in the General District Court, that means your possession of marijuana, schedule three, four, five, and six. Those crimes are going to be heard in General District Court and all of your felony cases are going to be heard in the Circuit Court.

Bench and Jury Trials

Most cases are heard by a judge in a bench trial although everyone has the right to a jury trial. But most cases are going to be heard via bench trial not just because of the decision that people make but also a judge can suspend time and, even if convicted, a judge can choose not to put someone in jail, where a jury sometimes does not have that option. Strategy-wise, it is beneficial to be heard by a judge as opposed to a jury depending on the facts of a case.

Highly Contested Elements at Trial

In Fredericksburg drug trials there are three things that are often contested, and those are, the elements of possession, the type of possession offense it is, and potential constitutional issues. The elements of possession refer to whether the person had actual or constructive possession of the drug, and it is always highly contested. Whether the person intended to distribute the drugs or not, can also be a contentious issue and can differently impact sentencing. The penalties between the two are very different. Distribution and possession with intent to distribute are punished a lot more severely than a simple possession.

Often attorneys try to argue it down to a simple possession if at all possible and then it becomes the element of possession with intent to distribute. Whenever an attorney is dealing with any of these cases, they are always going to have Fourth and Fifth Amendment issues, namely Fourth Amendment issues. It is important to question how law enforcement came to possess the item and how they might have known that the defendant possessed the item. These contested issues can sometimes help a person’s defense and serve as mitigating factors.

Sentencing For Drug-Related Offenses

While others may believe that sentencing at Fredericksburg drug trials is completely up to the discretion of the judge, judges do have a set of guidelines to help them determine an appropriate sentence. For the most part, when judges sentence individuals, they sentence within Virginia sentencing guidelines. The Virginia sentencing guidelines were developed by the state in order to keep some form of uniformity across the state when people are charged with certain offenses. Most drug crimes are under the purview of the Virginia sentencing guidelines, so judges sentence accordingly. When there are mandatory minimums, judges do not have a choice but to sentence the person to the minimum and judges rarely go above mandatory minimums or above the guidelines.