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Virginia student athlete confesses to felony drug charges

Being arrested and accused of a crime in Newport News can be a frightening experience, but what a defendant says and does during those unsettling moments can make or break a case. Any statements an individual makes can be used as evidence for the prosecution. Defendants mistakenly consent to police searches without a warrant.

Police investigating the source of a William and Mary student's drug overdose were told a member of the school's football team was dealing LSD. The 19-year-old was tracked down for questioning. The student invited officers to inspect his dorm room, with a warning that police would find drug paraphernalia and traces of cocaine inside.

The football player also apparently confessed he sold LSD on campus to eight students. Police said the dealer sold up to a dozen pieces of LSD at a time, at $10 per piece or $100 for 12 pieces. The drug offenses reportedly took place during February.

The student, who was kicked off the football squad, was charged with 17 felonies for drug trafficking and a misdemeanor for marijuana possession. Charges include possession of a controlled substance, drug distribution and trafficking near a school or library. The former athlete was freed from jail after meeting bond.

A young adult has a lot to lose with a felony record. The decades in front of a young person can be eaten up by prison time, depriving the individual of an education and work. At the other end of a prison term are difficulties adapting to changes in society, with limited prospects for employment, housing or even relationships due to the past.

Many people don't know how to act when accused of a crime. The best response is silence, so legal rights are not compromised by self-incrimination. A criminal defense attorney knows the laws and the legal process and will act as a defendant's voice at the proper time.

Source: The Virginia Gazette, "Ex W&M football player faces 18 charges" Susan Robertson, May. 13, 2014

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