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Possession of Marijuana Charges Nolle Prossed

A disabled veteran in his mid-50s was recently charged with possession of marijuana, a Class 1 misdemeanor, in Roanoke County General District Court. He hired Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico to represent him, as he had never had any prior criminal history and was concerned about his future and reputation. At the time of the alleged offense, police entered the apartment smelling burnt marijuana and based on a tip that drugs had been distributed from the unit. However, there was more than one person occupying the residence at the time the police entered. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant to search the apartment, where they found burnt marijuana residue and a small amount of marijuana underneath the bed in one of the bedrooms.

We represented our client in one court date, and our defense was focused on this being a constructive possession case. The person who called in the tip about marijuana had just assaulted our client at the apartment and could have easily planted the material to frame him. The Commonwealth decided not to pursue prosecution (nolle prosequi), which is effectively a dismissal.

Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.