In Alexandria, possession of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor, whereas possession of other controlled substances is a felony. This is one that is given a lower priority by the state.However, defending marijuana possession cases are similar to defending other drug cases . Often, in these types of cases, it is the same circumstances where an individual is stopped and the officer suspects that they have marijuana on them. One issue is that, often, the officers will use their excuse to conduct a search that they smelled the odor of marijuana. Most other drugs do not have a suspicious odor but marijuana does.
The legislature treats marijuana as a misdemeanor and not a felony. Today, judges are more lenient towards marijuana than they were in the past. There are still serious penalties for marijuana possession, so it is important to combat them early with the help of an Alexandria marijuana possession lawyer. An experienced drug attorney can help to build your defense.
If someone has been convicted of a marijuana charge, they are no longer eligible to be a first offender. However, being convicted of a misdemeanor possession charge will show up on someone’s criminal record background check which can impact the professional and legal future of the individual being charged. Generally, the impact includes admitting to potential employers that they have been convicted of possession of marijuana.
When someone is initially arrested for possession, they may feel like they have been caught red-handed and there is no defense. With the help an Alexandria marijuana possession attorney, there is a possibility to keep that off their record through the first offender program.
Virginia has not decriminalized marijuana like other states have. However, when someone is coming from a state where it has been decriminalized, they should take precaution because to the Virginia police marijuana possession is still illegal. For instance, just because possession is currently legal in the District of Columbia, if it is found on an individual in Virginia, they will be arrested.
Drug paraphernalia is something used in order to put drugs in someone’s system or to store drugs. For other harsher scheduled drug possession cases, things like needles and syringes are often found, whereas, for marijuana possession, grinders are one of the main pieces of paraphernalia found. Drug paraphernalia is a separate misdemeanor charge that carries with it the possibility of 12 months in jail and often, paraphernalia charges are connected to underlying charges so someone can be charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.
The prosecution has to show that the individual had knowledge of it and that it was used for that specific instance. Someone may have a bong but if the commonwealth cannot show that they were using it for marijuana versus using it for decorative purposes, then the case will be dismissed. It is considered a misdemeanor and a lot of times, these are not the highest priority cases so a skilled drug attorney may be able to work things out with judges. If someone has a lack of a criminal history and they do not have a record of drug abuse, they are likely to be let off with a warning or a light fine. Marijuana paraphernalia is not treated as harshly as other paraphernalia charges because possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor and the attitude towards marijuana can be more relaxed.
Usually, it is a police officer conducting a search that discovers drug paraphernalia. For example, they will stop someone’s vehicle and then if they determine they have probable cause such as smelling marijuana and they look around and during the search, they see a grinder, a bong, or wrappers.
Individuals have the right to remain silent during a paraphernalia arrest. They also have the right against an unlawful search or seizure. That is something that is determined later by a judge so they may not be able to exercise that right, but they also do not have to give the officers permission to search their vehicle at that time or search them, meaning, if they do not give them permission, then it is up to the police officer to show that they had probable cause to believe the person was committing the crime.
The best advice an Alexandria marijuana possession lawyer could give their client who is charged with marijuana possession is to stay calm. Often, when people are charged with crimes, they immediately assume the worst and that they are going to prison or that the maximum sentence will be enforced. That is not necessarily going to happen. It is important that they maintain their composure, talk to an attorney, and figure out what needs to be done in order to get the best outcome.
They should not immediately talk to or tell the officers everything about the case without first speaking to an Alexandria marijuana possession lawyer. It is important to remember that anything that is said to the arresting officer or officers can be used against the individual.
Despite not having to speak before obtaining representation, the person facing charges should speak politely to the officer before their attorney arrives. The behavior exhibited to the officer will be brought up during sentencing and can be used to get a better sentence. Therefore, an Alexandria marijuana possession attorney will recommend using this as an advantage.