This is the next post in my series on Helping Virginia Residents Decide if They Need to Hire a Private Attorney. My last post discussed why it is common for Virginians charged with domestic violence to attempt to handle it on their own case – and why this is a mistake. This post will address another common charge that many people mistakenly believe is not “that serious.” Today I will be discussing marijuana charges and why an attorney can make a significant difference on how a drug charge affects your future.
Many people do not take marijuana charges seriously- even though marijuana remains illegal in Virginia
In another series, I explained how marijuana possession is problematic for both Virginia Beach residents and tourists on vacation. While other states are legalizing marijuana, or allowing it to be used for medical purposes, the drug continues to be illegal in Virginia. However, it is not uncommon for persons who relocate to Virginia from another state, or who are visiting, to have trouble taking this drug policy seriously. Which unfortunately leads to those arrested on possession charges to show up to court unrepresented because they do not believe “a little weed” is that big of a deal. However, first time offenders face a 30 day jail sentence, a $500 fine, and an automatic six month driver’s license suspension. Without legal representation, this will likely be an automatic sentence.
Criminal defense attorneys have the experience to fight charges and obtain a reduced sentence
There are two major things that a private attorney may be able to accomplish in a marijuana related case. One, your attorney very well may be able to fight the charges, depending on the circumstances of your case. Many people automatically assume that their case is cut and dry, when in fact the evidence obtained against you was acquired unlawfully. In this instance, an attorney will file a motion to suppress, or convince the prosecutor to drop the charges due to lack of evidence. If this is not possible, your attorney may be able to have the charges against you reduced, or may be able to make a deal for probation instead of jail time. Obtaining probation rather than jail is significant, particularly when it comes to employment. Many employers will fire a person who has to miss several days of work due to a county jail sentence. However, a sentence of probation may allow you to retain your job while satisfying the Court’s sentence.
Garrett Law Group, PLC is a Virginia Beach criminal defense firm which handles an extensive number of marijuana related cases each year. We are often able to acquire outcomes for our clients that would not be possible without a qualified attorney. We are happy to provide guidance and help you understand the facts of your case during your free consultation. If you have been charged with simple marijuana possession, understand that this is a serious charge with lasting repercussions. Contact our office today. In addition to Virginia Beach, we service Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, as well as in the surrounding counties of Northampton, Isle of Wight, York, and James City.