Drug charges can be devastating to the defendant under certain circumstances, especially when the charges are serious. Individuals who qualify for a public defender often find themselves with an attorney who has a massive caseload and is actually in the employ of the state. In addition, the Virginia court system is known for strong sentencing guidelines that closely follow the federal standard.
This means that jail time is common when convicted of a drug crime in Virginia, and making parole after sentencing can be just as challenging. The best option for defense is having solid legal representation like Vaughan C. Jones when the case is being negotiated before a final conviction or dismissal.
Why Avoid Public Defense
Public defenders in Virginia are generally adequate when representing a client who has obviously committed the crime, but not always. Even those charged using solid evidence often receive substantially harsher punishments than those with a private criminal defense attorney. Sometimes when financial resources are a problem for the defendant, a family member can step in and provide assistance in helping retain an aggressive attorney who can conduct an independent investigation on behalf of the accused.
What a Private Criminal Defense Attorney Can Do
Public defenders do not often reconstruct crime scenarios when negotiating a plea bargain for a client, which can be detrimental when the police have violated the legal requirements of obtaining evidence. The Virginia statute for possession of drugs is so onerous that it is not necessary to have any drug in your possession. All that is required is being within "reaching distance" of the substance being used as evidence. And all of the proof used is officer testimony.
An aggressive criminal defense attorney can question an arresting officer before going to court and then grill them again on the witness stand. In addition, after conducting a separate investigation of all case evidence, any witnesses can be questioned in the same manner. Any evidence in question may be motioned for suppression as well.
Going to Trial
Another issue with an appointed attorney can be taking a case to a full trial. No prosecutor wants to try any case, and the system is clearly stacked against the defendants in Virginia. A seasoned criminal defense attorney who is focused on representing their client can take a case to trial and point out all weaknesses in any criminal drug case, which are very common in a state like Virginia where law enforcement officials zealously oppose drug use.
If someone you know has been charged with a drug offense in Virginia, it is too easy for the state to achieve a conviction unless aggressive legal counsel is obtained.
Those charged with a drug crime in Virginia should always call Vaughan C. Jones for comprehensive criminal defense representation. Schedule your consultation today (804) 207-5735.