One of the most common offenses prosecuted in Virginia is drug offenses. These types of offenses involve the possession, sale and use of all illegal drugs, and are some of the more complicated cases to litigate. In order to convict a defendant of a drug offense the prosecution must prove that the substance used, possessed or sold is actually an illegal drug. This is done through field testing or lab testing of the substance and the results of such tests are presented at the preliminary hearing or trial of drug cases. It is important that a defense attorney know the technical nature of drug cases as well as the traditional defenses available to defendants in other cases as they apply to drug cases.
Drug cases very often have non-traditional sentencing results for defendants. For example, there are situations where a first time offender can have a felony or misdemeanor drug offense dismissed at the end of a long probation period. Drug cases also can result in a person serving their incarceration in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility rather than in a jail or prison. This can also occur for offenses where the charge does not involve the possession, sale or use of drugs, but where drugs or alcohol had a direct impact on the defendant’s behavior giving rise to the crime.
Our attorneys at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC have extensive experience with drug cases as well as cases where drugs have a direct impact on the defendant’s behavior even if the charge is unrelated to possession, use or sale of drugs.