An Arlington drug lawyer will work hard to help you try to avoid conviction for a drug crime. You have a number of options for responding to drug charges against you, depending upon the type of charge and the nature of the evidence. Your defense attorney can advise you of your rights, help conduct an investigation into the charges, and help put together the strongest case possible to fight for your freedom.
Whether you are arrested for simple possession, possession with intent to sell, manufacturing, or distribution, drug crimes charges do not always lead to conviction or jail time. You have the right to legal representation when arrested and your lawyer can:
These are just a few of many different ways an Arlington drug lawyer can represent your interests in a drug crimes case. Drug cases can be complicated and you need an advocate who knows the legal system and who is on your side.
In Arlington, certain narcotics and drugs are classified as Controlled Substances. Virginia laws group controlled substances into six different schedules, with Schedule I substances considered to present the greatest risk. The schedule of a substance is determined by whether it has a medicinal use, whether there is a high risk of physical or psychological addiction, and whether there is high risk of drug abuse.
It is illegal for a defendant to possess, distribute, or manufacture controlled substances. Intent to possess, manufacture, or distribute is also illegal. This intent can be inferred if a defendant possesses large quantities of drugs or has equipment that appears designed to manufacture narcotics. It is also illegal for a defendant to possess substances used to take drugs, like a crack pipe.
Possession of drug paraphernalia or small amounts of drugs is usually a misdemeanor offense (although even small amounts of controlled substances like cocaine/heroin are felonies), while intent to sell is usually a felony. The schedule of the substance, as well as a defendant’s criminal history, determine the penalties a defendant will face.
Possession of a schedule I or II drug can result in one to 10 years incarceration under Virginia Code Section 18.2-250. Intent to sell a Schedule I or II drug can result in five to 40 years in prison under Code Section 18.2-248. Penalties become progressively less serious for Schedule III, IV, V and V substances.
Special rules exist for marijuana in Code Section 18.2-250.1, which limits penalties to 30 days jail time for a first possession offense.
Being charged does not mean a guilty verdict- you are innocent until a prosecutor proves your case. An Arlington drug lawyer will bring legal experience to the table to help ensure you benefit from the safeguards and protections in the justice system. Your attorney can help you work to be found not guilty or can assist in developing a plan to limit potential penalties. Call today to learn more.