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Virginia Drug Defense Lawyer

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Virginia Drug Defense Lawyer

Virginia Drug Defense Lawyer Tells You Vital Things To Know For Defending Yourself Against A Controlled Substance Prosecution.

A Virginia drug defense lawyer's experience and knowledge are critical to your controlled substance defense. As a Virginia drug lawyer, I know that illegal drugs are big business, and that daily, people in Virginia get arrested and prosecuted for alleged crimes ranging from using, selling, possessing with intent to distribute, and manufacturing drugs (with Virginia Code § 18.2-248 addressing the foregoing crimes when not merely possessory.) Do not throw in the towel when prosecuted for such alleged offenses. Obtain a qualified lawyer to fight for your best possible results. Even if you think you have been caught redhanded with a drug law violation, you have no choice but to dismantle the prosecution as best you can in terms of being prepared for trial, being ready for arguing to suppress purportedly unconstitutionally seized evidence, pursuing settlement negotiations that are as favorable as possible for you, and focusing on the best possible sentence if convicted by a trial or a plea of guilt or no contest. You also want to minimize having your case prosecuted in federal court rather than in Virginia state court, in that being prosecuted for alleged drug crime can be much less pleasant in federal court than in Virginia state court.

Will The Entrapment Defense Carry The Day For Me? Discuss This With Your Virginia Drug Attorney

When your Virginia drug attorney sees that you were caught red-handed, s/he may talk with you about a possible entrapment defense. “’Entrapment is the conception and planning of an offense by an officer, and his procurement of its commission by one who would not have perpetrated it except for the trickery, persuasion, or fraud of the officer…’” Stamper v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 228 Va. 707, 715 (1985) (citation omitted). In other words, succeeding with an entrapment defense can be an uphill battle, because the vast majority of people who knowingly buy and sell illegal drugs do so intentionally, and without police trickery, persuasion, or fraud. Nonetheless, the possibility of an entrapment defense still needs to be discussed.

If I Was Caught Red-Handed, Should I Snitch On Other Actual And Potential Drug Suspects?

Many controlled substance defendants also want to talk with their Virginia drug attorney about whether to seek opportunities to snitch/cooperate against other alleged drug dealers, and to get people arrested through engaging in undercover and confidential informant purchases and sales of illegal drugs. I do not offer snitching assistance, and of course make sure that my clients know that such cooperation is an option to seek, and that they should make sure that their lawyer is pursuing as much return benefit as possible for the drug defendant to expose themselves to harm in this way, in terms of being held up during a police-planned drug deal, or having word spread on the street or in the jail or prison that the person has snitched. (Then again, snitching is so common among drug defendants, that this can reduce the risk of retribution against those who snitch.)

Does It Make Sense To Challenge The Virginia Department Of Forensic Science’s (DFS’s) Chemist’s Conclusion That The Seized Items Were Illegal Controlled Substances?

Your Virginia drug defense attorney should be aware of the rogue state drug chemists who have been uncovered for shortcutting procedures in testing whether a substance is an illegal controlled substance, where such shortcuts are at the expense of the liberty of drug defendants. Rogue drug chemists or none. it is essential that your VDA include a focus on challenging the provability that the seized substances are illegal controlled substances, starting with circumstances as simple as drug lab testing backups causing delays in verifying whether the items are illegal drugs, possible infirmities in the drug chain of custody and with possible contamination of the seized substance (whether through contamination with other suspects’ samples or otherwise), and possible mistakes and missteps in testing the allegedly unlawful substance. At a minimum, your lawyer will want to file an objection to the certificate of drug analysis and will want to consider issuing a records subpoena (which I regularly do) for obtaining the data involved in the DFS’s testing of the particular seized drug.

Will I Face Fallout For Declining To Speak With The Police?

As a Virginia drug attorney, I know the discomfort that so many criminal suspects feel in remaining silent when police are asking the questions. We are instilled at a young age with being well-mannered enough to acknowledge the person addressing us (at least if they are polite and do not display any reason to feel unsafe around them). When you are an actual or potential criminal suspect, it is better to risk offending a police officer (whether that expression of law enforcement officer (LEO) offense is genuine or feigned. Moreover, polite enough ways exist to decline answering police questions, decline consenting to searches, and decline assisting with searches (for instance declining to hand over your passwords and refusing to show how to open a safe at the suspect’s home or place of business.

Can I Get Away From A Conviction By Speaking Ambiguously To The Police?

Mere presence near illegal drugs nor ownership of the premises automatically makes on culpable of unlawful drug possession. Watts v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 57 Va.App. 217, 233 (2010); Kerns v. Com., Record No. 1453-22-4 (Sept. 26, 2023) (unpublished). Kerns is an example of the fatal risks that can arise from not asserting one’s Fourth Amendment Constitutional right to decline police searches and Fifth Amendment Constitutional right not to speak with LEO. Kerns failed on both counts. Police stopped him for an alleged moving violation. Kerns consented to a police search of his person (which yielded no contraband) and his vehicle, which yielded the discovery of a homemade crack pipe and crack cocaine residue. Worse, Kerns confirmed that “[i]t’s been in there’ for at least a month and that he had recently consumed crack cocaine.” On appeal, Kerns tried to argue ambiguity of whether he was speaking about the seized cocaine residue and smoking implement, but the totality of the circumstances did him in (with his being the sole occupant of the car, his admission to recent crack use, and the finding that the substance was in fact cocaine). Furthermore,  an “‘admission deliberately made, precisely identified and clearly proved affords evidence of a most satisfactory nature and may furnish the strongest and most convincing evidence of truth.'” Prince v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 228 Va. 610, 613 (1985) (citation omitted). A Virginia drug attorney can only accomplish so much when the suspect plays into police hands as much as did Kerns.

How Do I Find The Best Virginia Drug Attorney For Me?

Finding the best Virginia drug attorney for you needs to be a mission for you, and not a mere matter of going through the motions to find a lawyer and then producing a credit card. My opposition to the harshness, dragnetting and privacy-invading aspects of the drug wars played a big factor in my becoming a criminal defense lawyer. That same fire against the drug wars continues burning in my belly. Call 703-783-5914 for your free in-person confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending prosecution.

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