Rights During a Virginia Drug Arrest

An individual has the same rights during a drug-related arrest in Virginia as that individual does in any other kind of arrest. An individual has the absolute right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present during questioning, and the right to confront and cross-examine against that individual at the time of trial. A person has all the same constitutional rights that everyone has, and their status as being arrested does not impact those rights.

With that said if you believe your rights may have been violated during the course of an investigation, it is important that an individual consult with a Virginia drug lawyer at the first available opportunity.

Consenting to a Search

The Supreme Court has said that a vehicle may be searched by any police officer in the course of a traffic stop that determines there is probable cause to search that vehicle. Unfortunately, for most people, probable cause can be developed by police officers simply by saying they smelled marijuana in the car. A judge will normally say that is enough to give the police probable cause. Once they have probable cause, they do not need a person’s consent to search that car.

However, an individual has the right to refuse a search of their vehicle during a drug arrest in Virginia.

Interacting With Police

During a drug arrest in Virginia, a person should avoid discussing anything other than their name and basic identifying information like where they live and any other elements with a police officer. Anything else an individual says is not going to help them without a lawyer present. An attorney would recommend that an individual not discuss anything with an officer, as it is their right during an arrest to remain silent.

What to Expect

If a person is arrested and sent to jail without bond, the first step is an arraignment where a judge will consider their case and tell them what they are charged with, what their trial date is, and that they have the right to a lawyer. Once a lawyer is appointed or retained by the client, the very first step that lawyer would likely take is to file what is called a “bond motion”.

This is a motion put forth in the court for a judge to consider the defendant’s bond status, and the defense lawyer will be asking the court to set a reasonable bond. Every case is different, so it is difficult to specify exactly what kind of bond an attorney might ask for in a person’s case, but there are usually some types of conditions that might be required, such as pre-trial supervision, a monetary bond, or both. The bond depends on a lot of different variables, but suffice it to say, getting that individual out of jail is going to be the top priority when representing that individual in any criminal case.