DC Cocaine Possession Lawyer

Cocaine possession charges are serious allegations that can result in harsh penalties. They also are often the result of aggressive searches by police officers. Therefore, it is important to discuss your rights and options with a DC cocaine possession lawyer if you are facing these charges.

A detail-oriented cocaine defense lawyer can help you fight back against the allegations you are facing. By building a defense and advocating on your behalf, an attorney may be able to help you secure a more positive outcome.

Factors Affecting Cocaine Possession Charges

Mere possession of cocaine for personal use is considered a misdemeanor offense under DC law and carries a maximum of 180 days in jail and fines up to $1,000. However, that does not mean a person will necessarily get 180 days of jail time for being in possession of cocaine.

There are however factors that could elevate a simple possession charge to a possession with intent to distribute charge. When deciding whether to charge someone with possession for personal use or possession with intent to distribute, prosecutors will generally consider a few factors. First, they may take into account the quantity of cocaine in a person’s possession. When someone is accused of being in possession of powder cocaine, a gram or two grams is more likely to be considered possession for personal use. With crack cocaine, the number of rocks in an individual’s possession may be considered when deciding how to charge them.

Another factor taken into account by prosecutors when deciding on a charge is the manner in which the cocaine is packaged. For example, paraphernalia such as multiple empty baggies, scales, and large quantities of cash are factors that could result in increased charges. A DC cocaine possession attorney can further explain how charges are determined.

DC Police Searches

Police officers consider cocaine to be a serious and dangerous drug. It is more dangerous than marijuana which is now legal to possess in smaller quantities in DC and is therefore no longer a significant priority for the police. Law enforcement instead focuses attention on more harmful drugs such as cocaine, PCP, heroin, and other types of opiates. These drugs are police priorities and are a reason for the police to attempt to conduct aggressive searches and seizures of property to make arrests for possession and possession with intent to distribute charges.

Police in DC are aggressive when trying to search people, their vehicles, and their possessions to find illegal drugs. For example, with normal traffic stops such as speeding, police may ask the individual to get out of the car and try to find a reason to search their person or vehicle. They might ask for the driver’s consent to conduct a search or they could try to intimidate the driver into giving permission for them to conduct the search.

There are a number of lawful bases to search a vehicle. For example, if someone is pulled over for a speeding infraction and their license is suspended, the police could arrest the driver and as part of the arrest, search their person and their vehicle to find anything illegal. If the police conduct a traffic stop and ask someone to produce their driver’s license or ask them to get out of the car and they refuse, the police could arrest them for failing to obey a lawful police order. At that point, even if the law enforcement officer had no other basis to search the person or their car, arresting a driver for failing to obey a lawful order could result in the officer searching the person and their car.

A DC Cocaine Possession Attorney Can Provide Advice

Depending on the severity of the charge, cocaine possession can result in serious consequences. Therefore, it is important to start building a defense as early as possible. The best way to get started is to reach out to a DC cocaine possession lawyer. An attorney can evaluate the facts of your case to determine possible defenses. Call today for a free consultation to get started.