While many states across the country have legalized the use of marijuana in recent years, possession of marijuana is still illegal in the state of Virginia. As with other drug offenses, a criminal conviction can result in a wide array of consequences, both long-term and short-term. If you have been arrested on a marijuana possession charge, experienced Richmond criminal defense attorney Margaret B. Davis can help as you seek to formulate the most effective plan to defend yourself.
Being arrested does not make someone a “bad person” any more than not being arrested automatically makes someone a “good person.” Things happen. Maybe you made a bad decision, or maybe you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Attorney Davis understands that the stigma and embarrassment of an arrest are very often punishment enough, especially for a first-time offender. Unfortunately, the State does not see things that way; if the prosecutor thinks there is enough evidence against you in a marijuana case the his or her goal will be to seek a conviction or a deferred disposition in the case of first-time offenders.Possession of Marijuana Under Virginia Law
If you have been charged with marijuana possession in Richmond, you should know that you face up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a 6-month driver’s license suspension for a simple possession - first offense. The possible penalties increase with subsequent convictions. While still a misdemeanor, a second conviction can cost an offender up to $2500 in fines and a year in jail. Having a criminal record can also damage the defendant’s chances of getting a job or a particular educational opportunity later on, so it is important that the offender avail himself of any and all possible defenses.
A seasoned marijuana possession attorney can review the circumstances of the defendant’s arrest and help her identify possible illegalities or irregularities. For example, the defendant may be able to assert a Fourth Amendment defense if there was an illegal stop, search, or seizure of the defendant or her vehicle. Entrapment is also a possible defense to a possession of marijuana case if the defendant can show that a police officer induced him to commit a crime he would not otherwise have committed. Additionally, in some first offenses cases, the defendant may be able to seek a deferred disposition of the charge by completing a substance abuse assessment and treatment program.Consult a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney in Richmond
Even if you believe that you will be convicted if you case goes to trial, you should always talk to a lawyer before accepting a plea deal. It is important to remember that the State has the burden of proof in a criminal case. If any of the State’s evidence was obtained illegally, the trial court may exclude the evidence based on the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine. Affordable Richmond criminal defense lawyer Margaret B. Davis has considerable experience fighting marijuana possession offenses, as well as other crimes including reckless driving and DUI, and she will be glad to talk to you about your case. Call or text (804) 354-8800 anytime for a confidential, free consultation. Attorney Davis also handles cases in Midlothian, Chesterfield, Chester, Glen Allen, Tuckahoe, Petersburg, Mechanicsville, Ashland, Williamsburg, Colonial Heights, Bowling Green, Ruther Glen, Goochland, and Hopewell, as well as Henrico, Chesterfield, Caroline, Goochland, Hanover, James, Mathews, New Kent, and Petersburg Counties.