When it comes to drug possession, Virginia is one of the strictest states in terms of laws and sentencing. For this reason, it is important to hire a drug lawyer for any drug possession case. Even those cases that may seem minor or insignificant can still have a major impact on your future and a drug lawyer can help provide guidance and insight.
Some of the key things a drug lawyer can do are:
Get an Early Start
With Virginia having mandatory minimums for many drug possession charges, there can be little a judge can do in terms of sentencing once a case reaches a certain point. This is especially true in cases where there is no lawyer.
When a drug lawyer gets involved early in the process, there is enough time to fully vet the case to make sure all protocols were handled correctly and to exercise all options regarding your legal defense. All of this preliminary work can be a major factor in reducing the charges or beating the charges completely.
Determine the Level of Penalty
It may seem like a straight forward step, but knowing whether you are facing a felony or misdemeanor is extremely important. Depending on the drug in question and the amount determines which classification the penalty falls under. There are also further classifications (Schedule 1, Schedule II, etc.) that determines the sentencing. There are also differing penalties based on how many times you have been charged prior. For example, the penalty is different for a second offense than for a first offense in many cases.
These are all things that need to be thought about before going to court and with a drug lawyer looking over the case, the level of penalty will be known and can be vetted before the court date.
Create a Defense Strategy
The last and most important aspect of hiring a drug lawyer is the creation of a strategy for your defense. There are a number of different ways to beat or reduce a drug possession charge, including challenging how the search and seizure process and the determination of who was actually in possession of the drugs.
Without a defense strategy, the likelihood of having drug charges dropped or reduced are slim to none. A qualified drug lawyer will give you the best chance in court.
Virginia’s drug laws are stringent. If you find yourself in the position of needing a drug lawyer in Harrisonburg, call Big Valley Law.