People who are found to be in possession of certain illegal controlled substances, such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin can face serious consequences. Drug possession laws vary, but, in general, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was knowingly in possession of the drug and knew that the drug was a controlled substance.
Two Virginia men were recently arrested for possession of illegal substances at a house in Elk Creek. Both men are currently in jail under no bond.
An officer observed one of the men at a local gas station. The 28-year-old man allegedly appeared nervous so the officer asked for consent to search his backpack. The man allegedly gave his consent, and the officer searched the bag and found a container with methamphetamine inside. The man was arrested and charged with drug possession.
Police then obtained a warrant to search the home of another man and found a large amount of marijuana, meth and prescription pills, as well as untaxed liquor and a firearm. The 64-year-old is now facing charges of felony possession with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and four other drug related charges.
Virginia residents who are charged with drug possession may be able to defend against these charges, if the search and seizure is found to be unlawful. The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to due process of law, which includes lawful search and seizures prior to arrest. If Fourth Amendment rights were violated, the drugs found during the search may not be admissible, and the charges may be dismissed. The key to these types of defenses is a skilled attorney and starting as soon as possible.
Source: NBC Washington, “Two Men Arrested for Drug Possession in Virginia,” Amanda Hancock, July 11, 2014