If you have been accused of distributing drugs in Fairfax, you are probably concerned about how you will combat such a serious charge. The Commonwealth of Virginia treats drug distribution harshly, with the aim of discouraging the sale, distribution, and use of dangerous controlled substances.
However, an increased crackdown on drug offenses typically means more people will be unfairly charged. If you or a loved one are facing wrongful drug distribution charges, a Fairfax drug distribution lawyer can work to restore your reputation and get your life back on track. Call and schedule a consultation with a drug lawyer in Fairfax today.
In Fairfax, it is illegal to sell, distribute or possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance or even an imitation controlled substance under Virginia Code 18.2-248. In many cases, the specific charges levied do not depend on whether a person is accused of manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession, but on the type and amount of controlled substance the alleged offense involves.
In Fairfax, law enforcement officers are cracking down on drug distribution. There is very little leniency when it comes to some of these offenses, specifically the higher level offenses. Drug distribution involves other people so prosecutors’ view it as putting others in jeopardy. That extends to putting distributors at risk and people at risk of becoming addicted. Accordingly, they consider someone that is alleged to have intended to distribute illegal substances to be a danger or threat to the community
The aggravating factors that can increase the severity would be a prior conviction for similar offenses or other drug related offenses. Schedule I or II controlled substances could also increase the severity of a drug charge. Additionally, the quantity of drugs could increase the severity of the charge.
For distribution offenses, just like drug possession offenses, constitutional issues that tend to come up include:
The three constitutional issues mentioned are among many others, all of which are situations in which an individual’s right could potentially be violated by the actions of the officers and/or the Commonwealth. An experienced drug distribution lawyer will question whether or not their clients’ rights were violated during the investigation process. They will also contest other elements of the crime including:
The prosecution can use all types of evidence. They test the drugs that they are accusing a person of possessing to determine if it is the drug alleged. They will have testimony from witnesses and officers and they could have pictures and even video to corroborate the officer’s stories.
The evidence used would depend on how the accused was arrested, but there is usually a combination of evidence, including testimony, pictures, forensic evidence, fingerprints, and any other available evidence.
Drug distribution penalties in Fairfax can be quite harsh, ranging from up to 12 months in jail and $2500 in fines for some lower-level marijuana offenses, to 40 years to life in prison and up to $500,000 in fines for the distribution or controlled substances.
So-called “volume dealers” – those accused of distributing very high levels of controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, or marijuana – can face 20 years to life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $1 million.
In addition to standard penalties, there are numerous circumstances that can bring about heightened punishments for drug distribution. Repeat or subsequent drug-related offenses, prior convictions, distributing drugs to minors or near a school, recreation center, or other place minors congregate, participating in a larger drug-related criminal enterprise, possessing a very large amount of drugs with the intent to distribute, and being charged with a violent crime in conjunction with drug distribution are all situations that could call for increased penalties.
So-called drug trafficking and moving drugs across state lines for the purpose of distribution or sale could also bring about heightened penalties. Your Fairfax drug distribution attorney can examine the charges against you and explain what penalties you may be facing, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Our experienced Fairfax drug distribution lawyers understand that not everyone charged with drug distribution or related offenses are guilty of these crimes. In developing a solid defense on your behalf, your drug distribution attorney in Virginia can analyze the evidence against you and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s case.
Your Fairfax drug distribution attorney can also negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss the charges against you, or do away with mandatory minimum penalties, especially if you have never been convicted of a drug offense before, you were not involved in a violent crime or large criminal enterprise, and no one was hurt during the alleged offense.
A person should look for someone that is not only aggressive, but aware of the constitutional law issues that can arise in drug cases, with Schedules of the substances, and the penalties associated with them.
Our firm’s Fairfax drug distribution lawyers have experience handling all types of drug distribution cases, including those involving prior convictions, multiple drug-related charges, and larger criminal enterprises. No matter what kind of drug distribution charge you are facing, we can help.