If you have been accused of violating a drug-related law for the possession of illicit substances, you may be frightened and unsure of how to proceed. The resounding penalties for a conviction can be severe and the subsequent mark on a criminal record may affect your ability to secure a job or housing in the future.
Furthermore, you may feel pressured to act quickly in building your defense, even if you are underprepared or underrepresented. Instead of navigating the legal system alone, however, consider reaching out to a DC drug possession lawyer to discuss your case. A dedicated drug attorney could help to explain your rights and work tirelessly to build a defense on your behalf.
The legal definition of possession in DC means an individual has knowledge that a drug is present and, furthermore, that they have the power to exercise control over this substance. This means that if a drug is merely in the presence of a person, this does not satisfy the required elements for legally possessing that substance.
For example, if someone is a passenger in a car and the driver has a substance in their center console, the passenger may know the drug is there, but that does not mean they are in legal possession of it. Furthermore, if the passenger does not know about the presence of the substance at all, this would be further proof of their lack of legal possession.
The nuances of understanding what is legally considered to be in a person’s possession can be difficult. A well-versed DC drug possession attorney could assess the facts of a defendant’s charges and explain their legal standing in order to work on a defense.
In DC, illegal drugs are grouped into classification schedules based on their severity. The major controlled substances which are considered illegal in are heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. For more information about which drugs are considered illicit in DC, contact a knowledgeable lawyer today.
Usually, a person could be charged with possession of a drug in DC in one of two ways. An arrest often results from an encounter with a law enforcement officer in an automobile or on the street. Sometimes, a person may be searched directly, while other times their home or place of business may be the subject of a search.
Possession of a small amount of a controlled substance is treated as a misdemeanor in DC. These charges are typically dealt with less harshly than distribution or possession with intent to distribute, which are both considered felonies. Possession as a misdemeanor for a first offense is often resolved under a provision of the law that allows for a period of probation to be completed. Upon completion of this probationary period, the conviction may even be erased from a person’s record.
Usually, the penalty for possessing a controlled substance is up to 180 days in jail, as well as a possible fine of $1,000. A conviction for even a first-time offender can have a widespread impact. These charges may affect a person’s ability to secure future employment or a professional license from an institution, such as a medical board, or professional associations with lawyers or accountants, for example. Due to the potential severity of these charges, a person accused of possession may benefit from the aid of a practiced DC drug possession lawyer.
Trying to navigate a drug-related criminal charge on your own can be intimidating and overwhelming. The legal system is often complex and even the slightest mistake may negatively impact a person’s defense. Instead, consider reaching out to a determined and experienced DC drug possession lawyer.
A tenacious defense attorney could shoulder the burden of your defense and guide you through each step of the legal process. To understand your legal options and discuss your case, call a legal professional today.
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