Those fearing a straight go-to jail sentence for their first-time felony drug charge may avoid time behind bars, Virginia criminal defense attorney Kristin Paulding disclosed today. —
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Paulding, founder of 7 Cities Law in Virginia Beach, said felony drug charges are considered a step up in the legal ladder compared to a simple misdemeanor drug possession offense.
“Those that do find themselves in this position are urged to swiftly hire an experienced attorney that can help build a case for their defense and look to mitigating factors,” she asserted.
She explained numerous variables could contribute to a felony charge. These can include what the substance is – methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine are considered Schedule I or II substances and carry a felony charge.
While simple possession of a small amount of a drug may fall into a misdemeanor drug abuse category, having vast quantities will assuredly result in a felony charge.
Paulding explained: “If someone possessed a Schedule I or II drug with the intent to supply or distribute it to others, it will always be considered a felony offense. Additionally, there could also be aggravating factors, such as dealing in a school playground.”
A knowledgeable attorney will consider various options, such as trying to dismiss the charges in court based on whether the drugs were the clients in the first place.
Defense counsel could also consider whether the police violated the client’s rights in searching their person, home, or auto in determining whether the court should exclude the drugs from the use by the Government against the client.
She added an attorney should be adept at explaining to their client that while felony charges can and do carry severe punishment, such as prison time and fines, they can be mitigated by participation in programs designed to treat an addicted offender.
For example, some states offer a drug program for a first-time offender to participate in instead of a sentence and charges that will be dismissed if the program is completed. This approach carries conditions, such as having to commit to regular drug testing or attending drug education and rehabilitation programs that require the client’s commitment to their sobriety and staying “clean” in the process, she emphasized.
Paulding concluded: “Felony drug charges should be considered very seriously even by a first-time offender because of the potential for major disruption to their lives now and in the future. Having an appropriate and experienced attorney will enable them to adopt a strategy in how to approach the charge and resolve it in the client’s best interests.”
Name: Kristin Paulding
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Organization: 7 Cities Law
Address: Building 4, #423, 291 Independence Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Source URL: http://RecommendedExperts.biz
Release ID: 89065595