While opinions on marijuana use and changes in state drug laws are sweeping the nation, the penalties for drug charges in Virginia remain stiff as ever. With the exception of some simple possession or possession of drug paraphernalia charges, most drug charges are classified as felonies. A conviction can result in decades-long prison sentences and thousands of dollars in fines.
Don’t let a drug possession charge ruin your life!
If you or a member of your family was arrested for possession of marijuana or another controlled substance, contact Gardner & Mendoza, P.C., so we can work to get those charges reduced or even dismissed! We have experience in every courtroom throughout the region.
STATE AND FEDERAL DRUG DEFENSE
Depending on the drug involved, the quantity and the circumstances of the charge, your case may involve state and/or federal court. Our criminal defense lawyers have experience with both. We have pursued cases involving marijuana, crack and cocaine, heroin, meth, club drugs like MDMA, and prescription drugs like Xanax and Ritalin. We have fought all kinds of drug charges, including possession with intent to distribute, drug manufacturing and drug trafficking. Our breadth of experience is an invaluable asset that not all criminal defense firms can offer.
INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY
While many other attorneys rush into plea bargaining, we believe in a thorough, rights-guided approach. The prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and we hold them to that standard. Many times, our approach results in case acquittal or dismissal due to insufficient evidence, law enforcement mistakes and/or constitutional rights infringements, including unlawful stop or failure to read Miranda rights at the time of arrest.
When you work with us, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your best interests are being protected. We do everything possible to keep your permanent record from hindering your future prospects. Whether you are a college student looking to complete your degree, a military service member on base in Virginia, a young professional who is new on the job market, or someone who is established in your community and career, we can help.
Top 3 Questions Our Clients Ask:
Will I go to jail? A first-time marijuana possession conviction is punishable up to 30 days in jail. The potential for jail time escalates based on the type of drug and frequency of the offense. Possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance can land you a jail sentence of up to 10 years.
Did they have a right to search my vehicle? As a general rule, police officers cannot search your car unless you give them consent to do so. If the officer asks to search your car, you do not have to consent. Just tell the officer, respectfully, that you do not consent to a search of your vehicle. However, there are some circumstances where an officer may have probable cause to search your vehicle without your consent. If there is evidence of illegal activity within plain view inside the car, then at that point the officer has probable cause to search your vehicle, with or without your consent. For example, a police officer pulls you over because one of your brake lights is out. While asking you for your license and registration, the officer notices marijuana in the ashtray. That officer now has probable cause to search your vehicle.
Can this get thrown out because they didn’t give me my rights? Probably not. Miranda Rights are when the officer reminds you that you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Officers are only required to read these rights when they intend to conduct a “custodial interrogation,” or in layman’s terms when they are trying to get you to confess to something. If the officer feels they have enough evidence to warrant a drug possession arrest, they won’t bother reading the Miranda Rights.
Sample Case Results:
Location: Norfolk General District Criminal Court
Charge: Marijuana Possession
Location: Norfolk Traffic General District Court
Charge: Marijuana Possession/Accident
“John Gardner represented one of my laborers for pretrial. He miraculously was able to get him out on a manageable bond. This was through persistent negotiation and fact-finding. If not for John Gardner, my worker would be stuck in jail through numerous delays, which have amounted to months. Instead, he has been able to work, care for a handicapped nephew and attend a family funeral. This is all possible because the Gardner and Mendoza team take every step of the legal process as if it were the trial itself.” –Conrad M.
“I was very anxious about going to court; however, Attorney Gardner and Staff provide easy and comfort for me. Everything went GREAT for me and I would highly recommend them to anyone. Thank you again, Mr. Gardner and team, you were a blessing!” –L. Freeman
“I have recommended John to others on many occasions and for those that hired him, John has either won the case or had it dismissed. He is kind, professional, & very knowledgeable. He will continue to be my #1 recommendation to those in need of his services.” -Rachel
If you’re facing charges of drug possession, you’re in the right place. When you work with us, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your best interests are being protected. We do everything possible to keep your permanent record from hindering your future prospects. Whether you are a college student looking to complete your degree, a military service member on base in Virginia, a young professional who is new on the job market, or someone who is established in your community and career, we can help.
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Related Article: Dos & Don’t When Arrested for Drug Possession