What to Know About Richmond Drug Possession Charges

If you think that you may be stopped or charged with a drug crime, there are many things you should understand about drug possession cases. You have rights guaranteed by the Constitution if you are stopped or searched by law enforcement. Knowing these rights and contacting a skilled criminal defense lawyer may help you better fight any pending charges. For more information about what to know about Richmond drug possession charges, call today.

First Drug Offense Alternative Sentencing

If a person is charged with simple possession of marijuana on a first offense or any of the scheduled offenses, then they can have the matter ultimately dismissed if they are able to complete community service and substance abuse treatment as well as a few other factors.

The individual must go through three things: substance abuse treatment, remain drug and alcohol-free, and maintain employment. If they do not have a drug, they must try to get a job and the probation officer will follow up with to make sure that they are actually trying to get a job.

Now, if the person gets a job, the person must maintain employment and report to the probation officer about what they have been doing at work. They must also do 100 hours of community service if it is a felony offense and 24 hours of community service if it is a misdemeanor offense. Lastly, they must submit to a drug and alcohol test.

Drug Possession Law in Richmond

In Richmond, drug possession is still taken seriously and violators will be prosecuted. It is advised that an individual exercises their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent during an arrest. Once the police have probable cause to execute a search, trying to talk oneself out of it serves little purpose.

It is essential to understand a person’s rights during a stop or arrest. People should know that they have the right to remain silent and exercise it. A person should know that they have the right to be free from searches and seizures as well. If the officer asks if they can do something, they are asking the individual for a reason. They should not feel pressured to say yes.

Giving an officer affirmation to search means that the individual has forfeited their right to contest the search as they gave consent. If an officer has probable cause, they will search regardless of consent, but withholding consent to the search might assist in fighting the cause for the search with the help of criminal defense attorney.

Constitutional Issues in Drug Cases

Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment is the right to remain free from illegal searches and seizures. When dealing with possession, the officers and the Commonwealth’s attorney must show that the person actually possessed the substance and that they had it either on their person, in their house, the car, somewhere around them, or something similar.

Most of the time, there is going to be some form of a search for, and seizure of the illicit substance. When trying to suppress these issues, the Fourth Amendment can be a strong tool in court.

Fifth Amendment

Then secondly, the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and the Miranda rights can be invoked. The Commonwealth must prove that the person had the knowledge that the drug is what it was, that the drug was possessed by the individual.

Often, they do that through the person’s statements. Anything an individual says can be used against them in a court of law. Even if there is no admission of knowledge, guilt may be extrapolated from other seemingly innocuous statements. Those statements can be used against the person in order to show knowledge.

Using the fourth and Fifth Amendments in conjunction may help protect an individual from an arrest in the first place

Call a Lawyer Concerning What to Know About Drug Possession Charges in Richmond

It is easy to make slip-up during a stop, search, or seizure on suspicion of drug possession. However, there are a few things to know about Richmond drug charges and how they are started that may help during the investigation process. Using your constitutional right to remain silent and withhold consent to a search or seizure may help your case in the long run. If have been charged with a drug crime, contact a lawyer today to learn more about your rights and legal options. Let an attorney inform you about what to know about Richmond drug possession charges.