Richmond Drug Enforcement

Officers in Richmond, in particular around Virginia Commonwealth University are most definitely cracking down very hard on drug charges. The main reason being the public safety concerns and the idea that with drugs come other issues of violence, robbery, etc.  If you are stopped by Officers downtown or around the campus they will typically ask to search your vehicle or your person if they have reason suspect drug use. Contact a lawyer who has experience with Richmond drug charges if you have been charged.

Most commonly, the Richmond Police Department investigates these cases. There are also investigations done by the VCU Police which is the Virginia Commonwealth University’s police department.  The on occasion the FBI and DEA do get involved in cases in the City of Richmond, the primary agency handling drug matters is the Richmond PD.

What Drugs Is Richmond Cracking Down On?

Among the college students in Richmond they largely look for marijuana, pills, or ecstasy, as these are the drugs commonly found on students.  As a general policy however, officers target the harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. They will often use informants or undercover officer to conduct buys targeting these drugs.

How Does Richmond Investigate Drug Cases?

There are a variety of ways that they are investigated. Everything from the Drug Task Force where local police work with surrounding counties and work with the DEA and the FBI and some of the officers will also do in the city is use confidential formats and use their own undercover investigators to make by to establish the cases. Also, a lot of times the drug charges result from searches of vehicles, bags, or a person.

Do You Have to Consent to a Search?

No, you do not have to consent to a search. That is optional. It is your right to refuse the search of your vehicle, person, or property however officers can search it if they can show or they have a probable cause. Probable cause can be anything from appearance of drug paraphernalia or a lot of cases the officers will testify that they smell marijuana or that the behavior of the individual led them to believe that they were under the influence of drugs.

Does This Raise Any Constitutional Issues?

It definitely raises a number of issues including constitutional issues involving the 4th amendment.  We try to argue in court that the probable cause for the search which lead to the finding of the drugs was unconstitutional, in other words that the officer did not have sufficient reason to search the car or search the person.  That based on the facts and based on their observations probable cause did not exist to search the vehicle.  A lot can depend where in the vehicle the drugs were found, in other words if they were found in an area that you was unrelated to the probable cause search arguments can be made to dispute what is found.  If a court rules that there was not sufficient probable cause for a search , then anything found as a result of that search is inadmissible.