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'Cooperative' Virginia drug user confesses fully, immediately

It doesn't matter whether you are suspected of a drug crime or you've been caught holding the bag. A criminal defense attorney would advise a Newport News defendant to say nothing and take no actions without the presence of a legal representative. Some defendants exercise their rights to remain silent to the fullest, while others blurt out a confession before they understand the serious consequences they might face.

A 48-year-old man recently entered a guilty plea in a Virginia court for drug charges related to an unusual incident involving a police officer. It all started when a vehicle pulled out in front of a patrol car near Horntown. The officer pulled over the driver, only to be handed the evidence he needed to arrest the man.

The police officer asked the driver to provide a driver's license. The stopped driver then handed over a lit marijuana cigarette and described the contents. The Eden defendant told the arresting officer the joint contained marijuana and cocaine, freely admitting he had a bag of each newly-purchased drug in his possession.

Prosecutors described the driver's attitude toward his arrest as "cooperative." The defendant never changed his mind about confessing everything. The Eden man testified that he had done "the right thing."

The defendant's attorney recently stated in Accomack Circuit Court that his client was responding well to a substance abuse treatment program. The defense sought leniency for a first-time drug offender. The accused man, fined for reckless driving and assigned to community service, otherwise had a clean criminal record.

Criminal defense attorneys do not encourage dishonesty in defendants' interactions with authorities. However, it is important for a defendant to understand charges and penalties attached to a possible conviction before deciding how to proceed.

Individuals who make spontaneous statements or confessions to police with no lawyer present can incriminate themselves – not the ideal legal position for any defendant.

Source: Delmarvanow.com, "Driver hands officer a joint instead of license" Nancy Drury Duncan, Sep. 22, 2014

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