Drug Enforcement in Hanover

Drug enforcement in Virginia is much stricter than some neighboring states. Therefore, it is important that people understand drug enforcement in Hanover, and are aware of the process and consequences of drug charges.

Drug charges in Hanover, Virginia can have some major impacts on a person’s life. For this reason, if you have been charged with a gun crime, it is imperative to contact an experienced and knowledgeable Hanover drug lawyer immediately. By doing so, you can ensure that you receive the best defense possible and have the chance to minimize your charges.

Common Charges

The most common drug offenses are felony possession, possession of marijuana, and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. As the culture has shifted and the laws regarding marijuana in Washington, DC have changed, these charges are seen a lot more in Virginia.

You do not need to consent to a search if a police officer stops you on the street. It is important to remember that the Fourth Amendment protects the citizens of the United States from unreasonable searches and seizures.  If an officer stops you and asks to search you, you have the constitutional right to say no.

Cases and Trials

Misdemeanor Hanover drug cases are heard in the General District Court for the County of Hanover and felony drug cases are heard in the Circuit Court for the County of Hanover.

Most drug cases are bench trials heard by a judge. However every person has a right to a jury trial and after speaking with an attorney, should decide if that right should be exercised in their particular case.

The average Hanover drug case takes anywhere from two to four months to resolve, depending on the facts and complexities of the case.

The elements that are hotly contested at trial are knowledge of the substance and if the item was possessed under the legal definition of possession. Furthermore, there are numerous Fourth and Fifth Amendment issues that are found in many drug offenses and are fought over in court.


In a Hanover drug case, the prosecutor must prove that a person knowingly and intentionally possessed an illegal substance. Again, here is where the question of possession becomes very important. 

The evidence presented will include, but is not limited to, police testimony, informant testimony, witness testimony, the substance if available, laboratory analysis, and certificates from the department of forensic science.

Sentencing Process in Hanover

Sentencings in Hanover are handled by the judge in a bench trial or plea, or the jury in jury trial.

In a bench trial, the judge will consider the facts of the case, evidence from the Commonwealth, evidence from the defense, and the sentencing guidelines. After considering all of these factors the judge will sentence the accused, normally within the range given by the sentencing guidelines, if applicable.

In a jury trial, the jury will consider the same things as the judge with exception of the sentencing guidelines and then sentence the accused within the range prescribed by the Virginia Code.