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Virginia college students face felony drug charges

College is often the first chance young people have to be independent and make adult decisions. Unfortunately, some students may find themselves in legal trouble as they navigate young adulthood. Four students at the College of William and Mary now face drug charges after an incident allegedly involving marijuana and other drugs.

The incident occurred when someone called Williamsburg Police to complain that their neighbors were shooting an air rifle into their yard. When officers arrived at the scene, they spoke to the students who were allegedly shooting the rifle. It was then that they noticed a smell of marijuana coming from inside the house. The police left to get a search warrant from the magistrate's office and returned a short time later. During the search, the officers found marijuana, pills, and mushrooms.

The four students have all been charged with possession of marijuana and felony possession of an illegal drug. A fifth student has also been charged with possession of marijuana. If the students are convicted, these charges could have a significant impact on their lives.

The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures by police. Officers are generally not permitted to search a property without a valid search warrant or probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. Not all search warrants are valid and many officers have conducted illegal searches of property. An illegal search may prohibit evidence collected during the search from being admissible in court. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help make sure that your Fourth Amendment rights are protected and that you are not convicted based on inadmissible evidence.

Source: The Virginia Gazette, "Four William and Mary students face felony drug charge," Ryan McKinnon, Oct. 26, 2016

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