Drug Possession Charges in Henrico County

Although it may seem like a minor offense, being caught in possession of a controlled substance can carry serious penalties such as fines and jail time. As a result it is imperative that you consult with a Henrico County drug lawyer as soon as possible after you are charged with any time of drug offense. Read on to learn more about possession charges in Virginia.

Severity of Drug Possession Charges in Henrico County

Drug possession is a very serious charge in Henrico County. It can range anywhere from a class 1 misdemeanor up to a high felony. A lot of factors go into determining how serious a drug possession charge will be, including and primarily what type of drug is in possession and how much is in possession of the individual.

What also factors into this is where you’re arrested. In other words, if you’re arrested near a school or arrested in the presence of your children, the charge is much more aggravated. In addition to that if you’re arrested while in possession also of a firearm it can result in multiple charges which carry mandatory incarceration.

Enforcement of Drug Charges in Henrico

Drug possession charges are a very high priority for law enforcement in Henrico County.  Law enforcement in Henrico has been a priority to stem the influence of hardcore drugs like cocaine and heroin in the area, so they take a very active role in searching out violators of that law.

In addition to that, they are very adept in conducting searches and also finding indicators of drug use, which lead to possession charges. Law enforcement officers are particularly on the lookout for cocaine and heroin as well as prescription abuse which has become a serious problem in Henrico County.

Are Diversion Programs or Alternative Sentencing Methods Used For Drug Possession Charges?

Henrico County does have diversionary programs for drug possession charges and first offense drug possession charges.  First offender programs are offered for both misdemeanor and felony charges.

Constitutional Issues That Could Come Up

There are a number of constitutional issues that we see in drug possession charges in Henrico County. Typically they involve search and seizure matters regarding the Fourth Amendment and also admissions involving the Fifth Amendment. Typically with Fourth Amendment issue is you’re challenging how the drugs were found or how the search was conducted by the officer. And then, the Fifth Amendment issue you’re challenging any statements that you may have given after you were either arrested or detained by the officers.

Evidence That Could Help Your Case

Typically what we’re looking for is evidence that the search or stop was improper, that the drugs may belong to someone else, or the drugs may not be what is claimed or be the amount alleged.  In addition to that, we’re looking for issues regarding how the drugs were handled by the police and by the Department of Forensic Science who conducts the drug testing.  Also, what we’re looking for are issues regarding how the officer conducted the stop, what probable cause the officer had for conducting any search and how/where the drugs were found.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Drug Possession Cases

The biggest mistake to avoid in a drug possession case is attempting to handle the matter on your own without an attorney. A drug possession charge can carry very significant penalties. Again, these penalties can range anywhere from a class 1 misdemeanor up to high felony. They can also result in a permanent criminal record as well as a long term license suspension.

In addition to that, you want to avoid making any statements to law enforcement or police prior to speaking with an attorney. It is your right to remain silent and it is always best to do so unless you have or until you have an opportunity to speak with a lawyer.

Importance of Contacting An Attorney

It’s very important to contact an experienced drug possession lawyer at the onset of your case for several reasons.  Drug charges can have a very significant impact on your life.  A conviction can result in a long term prison sentence, a permanent criminal record, and a significant license suspension.

In addition, the earlier you hire an attorney the more able they are to prepare a defense and to challenge the drug possession charge. Drug possession charges can be challenged a number of ways.

They can be challenged in how and where the drugs were found.  An attorney can challenge if there was probable cause for a stop and search. An attorney can also challenge how the drugs were tested or handled by the state. You also want an attorney early on in the case that’s able to negotiate with the prosecutors and investigators in order to try and get better resolution.

Our Approach to Drug Possession Cases

As a drug possession lawyer it’s very important to start building your defense early in the case and that’s why it’s imperative to hire an attorney immediately. A defense strategy starts by examining how the drugs were obtained by law enforcement and how the search was conducted; typically you’re looking for issues regarding probable cause or Fourth Amendment violations.

Next, an attorney wants to look at how the drugs were handled and how they were tested.  An attorney can raise issues with how officials handled the drugs and did the testing done by the Department of Forensic Science.

Next, an attorney wants to look toward mitigating factors that could benefit our client.  We will explore drug counseling options and if diversionary programs are available.  An attorney wants to provide as many options as you can for your client and also be able to negotiate with the prosecution to try and get a good resolution.