Allegations of drug crimes can cause significant problems for people in Virginia. The mere act of drug possession can result in a variety of penalties. There are, however, different categories of drug possession. For example, if a person has a relatively small amount that is for personal use, the charges will differ when compared to someone who has a larger amount that is for sale, trafficking and distribution.
It is important to understand the basics of drug possession laws. Generally, prosecutors must show that the person was aware they had a controlled substance in their possession and was wittingly in possession of it. When categorizing drug possession, the charges will be based on whether it was for personal use or for distribution. If it was for personal use, it may result in charges of simple possession. With distribution, it will be more serious with harsher penalties.
Other items that law enforcement and investigators might find will largely dictate whether the person is charged with distribution. These can include scales to weigh the drugs, baggies to separate them, a large amount being present and substantial sums of cash in small denominations. Another aspect of drug possession is whether there is drug paraphernalia. That includes syringes, pipes and other items used for drugs. Drug residue in the item might determine whether it is considered drug paraphernalia.
Constructive possession is a type of drug charge that could be a challenging issue. It states that the person could access the drug even if it was not on his or her person. If the drugs were in a vehicle or residence, more than one person can be charged.
After a drug arrest, individuals charged should remember their rights. There are ways to lodge a defense when arrested for drugs, including calling the investigation into question and ensuring the evidence was obtained in a legal manner. A law firm with an understanding of strategies prosecutors use may be beneficial to a case. Calling a lawyer for a consultation when dealing with drug crimes might be a vital part of a successful resolution.