Possession of any amount of any drug could result in jail time and fines if convicted. In Virginia, a judge is allowed to sentence you to up to 30 days in jail even for the lowest possible marijuana charge. A judge can also impose a 251 Disposition, which defers proceedings and places you on probation with strict requirements such as reporting to a probation officer, paying probation fees, random drug tests, community service, and participation in a treatment program. If you violate any probation rules, a 251 Disposition will result in serious penalties. For any drug crime, the state will take your driver's license away for a period of six months, which could affect your ability to get to school, work, or other obligations. In order to avoid these consequences, you need a Fairfax criminal defense attorney who will fight the validity of the charges and the admissibility of the evidence to support those charges.
Common Defenses to Drug Charges
The most common defenses to drug charges involve alleged violations of the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution by the police officers during the arrest. The 4th Amendment gives every citizen the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure or their property. Commonly, the evidence in drug crimes are found during searches of vehicles, persons, or homes, and police officers often do not have Constitutional authorization to conduct the search. Most often the drug evidence is the only evidence against drug defendants and if that evidence is suppressed due to constitutional violations, the charges will likely be dropped. Qualified defense lawyers will spend a great amount of time examining the circumstances surrounding the arrest to identify any possibility of constitutional violations.
First, a lawyer should examine how the police stopped you. Police can talk to anyone for any reason, however if there is no valid reason behind the questioning, you have no obligation to respond or cooperate unless they have reasonable suspicion or probable cause that you are committing or about to commit a crime. They can also only perform various searches under specific circumstances. If the police violated your rights by illegally stopping or searching you, any evidence discovered as a result of the stop or search will be thrown out.
Dedicated Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney
Wilfred Ward Yeargan has extensive experience defending drug crimes and knows how to investigate every case to try to suppress evidence and get charges dropped. Drug convictions or 251 Dispositions can have a significantly negative impact on your life, so you want to make sure you are represented by a Fairfax criminal defense attorney who will fight to get the charges dropped.