The severity of a drug charge can depend on a variety of factors, one of which is whether the accused had the intent to distribute. Two Virginia men are facing multiple charges after police allegedly found marijuana in their homes. The men have been charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana with intent to distribute and manufacturing marijuana. One of the men is also charged with possessing a gun and marijuana. They are being held at the Central Virginia Regional Jail.
Police received a tip, which led them to the discovery of 110 marijuana plants. The street value of the plants was estimated at $330,000. Police later searched the two men's homes and allegedly found 172 pounds of marijuana, valued at over $600,000. Police also found over 40 weapons and $14,000 in cash.
When police find drugs in a home, one of the strongest defenses that can be used when a person is facing drug charges is that the search was unlawful. The Fourth Amendment protects a defendant's right to due process and ensures that they will not be subjected to unlawful search and seizure procedures. If the defendant's fourth amendment rights were violated, any evidence found will not be admissible in court and the charges against the defendant will typically be dismissed.
If drugs were found in a home, it is also possible that the drugs belong to someone other than the defendant. If the defense can prove that the defendant was unaware that the drugs were in the home, it may be possible to have the charges dropped. The drugs found at the scene must also be the same drugs that are analyzed by the crime lab, and it must be proven that they are an illegal substance. With all these defenses available, those facing drug charges should not feel discouraged about their situation.
Source: The News & Advance, "Two men face drug charges," Nov. 27, 2013