Arlington Drug Lawyer

Some of the most common criminal cases heard in Arlington’s courts are those involving illegal drugs. An illegal drug is any substance that you do not have permission to possess. Some drugs are always illegal, such as cocaine or heroin. Others are illegal without a doctor’s prescription.

If you are facing allegations of illegal drug possession, you are likely scared and confused. The penalties for simple possession of an illegal substance can be harsh with many versions recommending a prison sentence of at least one year as punishment. Worse, allegations of drug distribution carry a mandatory five-year prison sentence and may apply even if police do not witness a person selling those drugs.

An Arlington drug lawyer may be able to help you no matter what level of drug charges you face. A seasoned defense attorney could help to explain the relevant laws, to identify realistic goals, and fight to meet those goals in and out of court.

Drug Possession vs. Drug Distribution

The two most common drug offenses faced by people in Arlington are simple possession and distribution. According to VA Code §18.2-250, it is illegal for any person to knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance unless permitted by a doctor’s prescription. The concept of knowledge is key in these cases as defendants who unwittingly carry drugs may not have the requisite knowledge to merit a conviction.

The severity of this charge depends solely upon the type of drug in question. The most serious consequences apply to Schedule I and II substances. These include fentanyl, morphine, heroin, and cocaine. Convictions here are Class 5 felonies that recommend at least one year in prison as a penalty.

Less serious allegations involve less harsh drugs such as marijuana hallucinogens and certain prescription medications. These are misdemeanor-level offenses where jail time is possible but unlikely.

More serious drug charges follow allegations of drug distribution. Much like the statutes describing drug possession, the drug distribution laws become more serious depending upon the type of drug in question.

According to VA Code §18.2-248, a conviction for distribution of a Schedule I or II substance carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. However, distribution charges also take the amount of drug into consideration. As the amount of drug rises, so too do the available penalties.

An Arlington drug lawyer could help defendants to understand the Commonwealth’s drug laws and how they pertain to their cases.

Fighting to Protect Defendants’ Rights in Court

Allegations involving the illegal possession or distribution of drugs are some of the most common cases that go to trial. This is because it is rare for a police officer to personally witness illegal drug activity. Instead, these cases often rely upon search warrants, the testimony of unreliable witnesses, and even confidential informants to gather evidence. This offers defendants many methods to challenge a prosecutor’s case.

An attorney could help to challenge whether the drugs in question are illegal substances. While prosecutors work with drug labs to identify these substances, the results can often be inconclusive.

A defendant could also argue that any search warrant in the case was illegal. A drug lawyer in Arlington could make a motion in court to exclude any evidence obtained in these searches.

Finally, an attorney could argue that a defendant did not know that they had the drugs in their possession at the time of the arrest. Every case is unique, and an accomplished lawyer could help defendants to choose a defense that works best for them.

Speak with an Arlington Drug Attorney Today

If you are facing allegations involving illegal drugs in Arlington, it is understandable to be frightened and confused. These investigations often result in the arrest of people even slightly connected to the drug trade and the penalties for any drug conviction are harsh. It is imperative that you act quickly to give yourself the best chance of moving forward.

Hiring an Arlington drug lawyer could provide essential help. They can work during every stage of the case to question the legality of police work, to exclude irrelevant evidence, and to present a defense to juries designed to create reasonable doubt. Call an Arlington drug lawyer today to set up an appointment.

Arlington Criminal Lawyer