A. Clarke Law focuses on drug defense in Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. Attorney Clarke has years of experience as a drug attorney, and he knows how to build a strong case against drug charges. He takes on cases that involve drug possession or drug distribution charges. Call his office in Washington, DC or Fairfax, VA today to speak with a drug defense attorney. We serve clients throughout Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland.
Drug laws are complicated, and they're always changing. If you've been charged with a drug crime, you should know what to expect during the course of your case. Here are three factors that could influence a drug charge:
Did you know that you can be charged for Possession with Intent to Distribute even if you do not receive any money but give away a controlled substance. Va. Code § 18.2-248.1 states that it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, give, distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture, sell, give or distribute a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance. This means that you can be charged with a felony even if you do not make any money from the sale of a controlled substance. The penalties depend on the controlled substance and can range from 1 year to 25 years.
If you are charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute a controlled substance you were likely arrested on sight. You may have even had your belongings including cash and your vehicle seized. You may have even been tricked by an undercover officer into making a sale. Do not make statements to police officers without first contacting a Virginia Licensed Attorney.
If arrested, you will be processed at the local jail and brought before a Magistrate. The Magistrate will inform you of your charge and bail will be set. If you can afford to make bail you will be released soon thereafter. You will also be given a date for arraignment.
At Arraignment, you will be asked whether you have or can afford to hire your own attorney. If you say yes, you will be provided notice to return. If you say no, you will be given a form to fill out to determine your eligibility for court appointed counsel. Keep in mind that the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives you the right to hire your own counsel to assist in your defense.
Next, you will have a Preliminary hearing. At the Preliminary hearing, the Court will decide whether the Officer had Probable Cause to arrest you. This is different than reasonable doubt. Probably cause just means that more likely than not a crime was committed. This is a low standard that is difficult to overcome. Speak with your Attorney about your options.
If the judge finds the officer had probable cause for your arrest, the case will be certified to a secret grand jury. Speak with your counsel about the responsibility of a grand jury.
If the grand jury returns an indictment, the case will be moved to the Circuit Court for trial.
Being charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute can be a life changing event. It is important that you hire an attorney that can help you understand the strength of the evidence against you and offer you options for your defense. The Commonwealth has a high burden of proof to meet to obtain a conviction, so don't plead guilty without first speaking with an attorney.