Have you been charged with possession of illegal drugs with the intent to sell? State and federal laws regarding the possession and distribution of illegal drugs differ. Usually, the federal government enforces stricter drug sentencing guidelines. However, drug possession defenses are somewhat universal across state lines. Here are a few potential defenses that have been used in possession with intent cases:
- Drugs Belong to Someone Else: Many people simply didn’t do what the government has accused them of. It is the Commonwealth’s burden to connect you to the drugs beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Crime Lab Analysis: Some people question the reliability of tests conducted on a seized substance. An experienced attorney knows what questions to ask.
- Unlawful Search & Seizure: If your Fourth Amendment rights were violated, the drugs cannot be used at trial. Search and seizure issues are fairly common in drug possession cases. Drugs in plain view can be seized, but drugs found in areas out of view, like in a locked trunk, cannot be used as evidence in many cases.
- Missing Drugs: This defense is similar to challenging the lab analysis. Prosecutors who lose or lack the actual drugs risk having their case dismissed. Don’t assume the evidence exists. Seized drugs are often transferred several times before ending up in the evidence locker. Things can get lost during this process.
- Medical Marijuana Exception: Though not a defense in federal court, medical marijuana use might be used as a defense in states that have legalized use of the substance. These states typically require a signed doctor’s recommendation in order to establish medicinal necessity. In Virginia, medicinal use of marijuana is not recognized. Simple possession of cannabis can result in up to 30 days in jail or a $500 fine, while the penalty for distribution can decades in state prison depending upon the weight involved.
If you’ve been arrested for possession with intent, you might have legal defense options that are not immediately apparent. A skilled attorney can work on your behalf to help build your defense. With more than 11 years of legal experience, I am well aware of the different pitfalls or obstacles that may prevent you from the results you want. I am prepared to provide a skillful and tireless defense strategy for you.
Contact us or call (540) 818-3859to talk about how we can help with your case.