As shown by all the publicity about the legalization of marijuana, many Virginia residents and people across the country believe that federal drug laws need to change. Many of the people arrested for drug crimes face drug charges related to possession, which many people believe to be a victim-less crime. However, regardless of whether the drug charge is possession or something greater, like drug manufacturing or drug distributing, drug charges can be very harmful to a person’s future and can result in significant penalties.
A man from Charleston, West Virginia, has been charged with operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory and obstructing an officer after his recent arrest. According to the police report, he was found in possession of meth, which was described as “shake-and-bake” meth. Police reported that the shake-and-bake method of manufacturing meth can be particularly dangerous because air can react with the lithium strips used and cause an explosion.
Virginia law enforcement take drug crimes very seriously. Many law enforcement agencies have departments or task forces specifically dedicated to the investigation and apprehension of those believed to be involved in drug-related activities. Because of the zealous nature of these investigations, it is not uncommon to see the rights of defendants infringed upon. Defendants facing drug charges should explore all legal options prior to their criminal trials to determine if they may have defenses related to protecting their constitutional rights. For example, search warrants are often required before police can search someone’s home. If a search warrant was required and not obtained, any evidence discovered pursuant to that search may be inadmissible in court.
In additional to constitutional claims, defendants may be able to make a plea deal or request participation in a drug diversion program. Especially for defendants struggling with substance abuse problems, such programs can help them get clean and sober and avoid some of the more serious criminal penalties that could continue to derail their efforts to get back on track.
Source: WCHSTV.com, “Charleston Man Faces Drug, Obstruction Charge,” Jeff Morris, Oct. 11, 2013