Throughout the country, different states and communities now hold widely varying opinions about how to address drug abuse and drug-related crime. Some states are changing their laws to reflect these updated views. Virginia maintains drug laws that still criminalize most forms of possession, but our laws are not as strict and harsh as those in some other states.
Still, facing drug charges in Virginia or just about any other state can still lead to serious jail time and hefty fines. If you face drug charges and are also a student, you confront the additional threat of the effects a drug conviction may have on your education and employment opportunities.
Do not take any drug charges lightly. It is wise to build the best defense you can to any drug charges and use all the resources and tools you have to defeat the charges if it possible. The good news is that you may have more options than you think.
Consider all the evidence
The sooner that you begin building your defense, the longer you have to review the evidence against you. Even if the evidence appears fairly strong, it is wise to take time and examine it for weaknesses. Often, the evidence and the police account of the encounter are not as consistent as you might assume.
Requesting laboratory testing to determine the composition of the drug evidence against you is often an excellent way to scrutinize the case and place pressure on the prosecution. In order to test drug evidence, the prosecution must first locate the evidence and provide it to the lab. This presents opportunities for the prosecution and the lab to misplace or misfile the evidence.
Using and contesting the results
Once the results come back, you may have even more opportunities to challenge the charges. If the substance named in your charges is not the substance the lab identifies in the test, the case against you weakens.
It is also possible to challenge the validity or reliability of the results, especially if any part of the results is inconclusive.
Building a strong defense requires time, understanding of the law and creative problem solving. Waiting to begin building your defense only makes it more difficult to protect yourself, and any sentencing you receive is likely to harm your future opportunities.
Keep your rights and future secure by crafting your defense immediately, using excellent legal resources and guidance as you need them.