What Factors May Influence the Length of Your Criminal Defense Drug Case?

Drug crimes can be complex and varied. An answer to how long it may take for a drug offense case to resolve itself may not necessarily apply to your unique case, as no answer can be considered universal. Typically speaking, the more severe the drug offense, the more charges there are, and the more suspects involved, the longer the case is going to take to resolve.

Some drug cases can be resolved very quickly. If the prosecution, the criminal defense lawyer, and the judge waive a jury trial, the accused can have a bench trial in circuit court. If this happens, the drug case may be scheduled much sooner than if it were set for a jury trial.

More complex drug cases can last somewhere between six months to over a year, however..

Jurisdiction figures into the complexities of the drug crime and case length. Federal drug crimes are generally more complex and take longer to resolve than state drug cases.

The quantity of the drugs possessed, manufactured, or possessed with intent to distribute can also affect the length of a case. The more drugs that the prosecutors say are involved in the case, the longer the case is likely to take.

Where the drug offense took place can also figure into the length and severity of the drug crime charges. For example, if the drug offense took place within 1,000 feet of a school, you may face additional charges, harsher penalties and a longer preparation time for trial. Similarly, if a minor was present in any way during the drug crime, the case could become much more serious.

If the prosecutor can prove that you intended to sell, possess with intent to distribute, or distribute the drugs in your possession, the case is likely to become much more complicated. Proof they may present to support their suspicions includes evidence like transaction records, large amounts of cash money, encrypted online communications, scales, and drug packing materials.

The use or presence of firearms and weapons in a drug offense can result in additional charges, harsher penalties and more complex drug case trials, even if the weapon was not used to violent effect.

If you’ve been accused of any type of drug offense, you must speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to discuss your case and any potential defense strategies. Please contact the Law Office of Seth C. Weston to schedule a confidential consultation today.

What Are Different Types of Drug Offenses in Virginia?

There are three primary types of drug crimes in the Commonwealth of Virginia: drug manufacturing, drug distribution, and drug possession.

Drug possession (otherwise known as possession of a controlled substance) is the least serious with the least harsh penalties of the drug offenses, and can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. If law enforcement believes that you have an illegal substance in your possession, on your person, or under your control, you may be charged with drug possession. The severity of this charge depends upon the class of drug in your possession. Marijuana, heroin, LSD, mushrooms, party drugs, various pills, and prescription drugs belong to different classes, each with different levels of severity and potential penalties.

If the police believe you have the intent to sell or otherwise distribute the drugs,, you could be charged with a drug distribution type charge. This means that law enforcement believes that your drugs were not solely for personal use but were possessed for the purpose of sale or distribution. The severity of the penalties depends upon factors such as the quantity of drugs being sold, the schedule of the drugs, and if you have any prior convictions for a drug distribution charge.

Drug manufacturing is also illegal in Virginia. This crime pertains to the act of creating a controlled substance without legal authorization. Sometimes, law enforcement can charge a suspect for drug manufacturing before the drugs have been created, provided that a person possesses certain precursor chemicals needed to create the drug, and the supplies are set up or possessed with the intent of manufacturing narcotics.

What Are Federal Drug Crimes?

Most drug crimes are charged at the state level. However, some are charged with federal crimes. Federal drug charges tend to take longer to resolve in the courts because they are generally more complex and involve a number of codefendants.

If the drug crime involves federal law enforcement (FBI, DEA, etc.) or if the crime took place on federally owned land, then it may be charged as a federal drug crime.

Drug offenses can also be charged as federal crimes if the distribution or manufacturing of the drugs crosses state lines.

When Might Drug Crime Cases Be Dismissed?

It is possible to get drug charges dismissed, thus making your case shorter. Your criminal defense attorney will explore all the evidence to determine which defense strategy is most well-suited to your particular case.

If there were issues with the police stop, the warrant, the arrest, or a search, then it is possible to get charges dismissed. The police must operate by strict search and seizure rules. If they violate these rules, then the evidence they found in an illegal search could be dismissed.

Another element to consider is whether witnesses for the prosecution should be discounted. If the prosecution’s entire case rests on the testimony of faulty witnesses, you may fight to have the charges dismissed.

Contact the Law Office of Seth C. Weston to Schedule a Confidential Case Evaluation

In order to give a more accurate estimate of how long your case will take, it’s vital that you speak with attorney Seth C. Weston personally to discuss the particulars of your case. Only then will you have a better idea of how long it may potentially take to resolve your drug crime case.

To schedule your initial consultation, please contact our Virginia law firm at (540)-384-4585.