A person in Virginia and anywhere else charged with a criminal offense has rights under the Constitution, including protection against self-incrimination. Understanding how these protections affect a case can greatly assist with the creation of a solid criminal defense or determination of an appropriate plea whether the case involves misdemeanors or felony drug possession.
The man said the pills were given to him after his own medication was stolen, according to police.
The initial arrest occurred after his family members were holding him at the premises for apparent "aggressiveness." When the deputy arrived, the man was found to be "irate." The deputy alleges that the man smelled of alcohol.
It wasn't until the man was arrested and booked in a county jail cell that he admitted to being in possession of the Xanax. The man claimed that his brother had given him the pills. This admission landed him an additional felony charge. It's unknown if police have questioned the brother in the matter.
Drug possession can be a serious offense, and mandatory sentencing requirements can result in very harsh sentences. Those charged with possession should seek to understand their rights and options for defense under the law. This man should have been made aware that he did not have to cooperate with police if he didn't want to, and he didn't have to admit to being in possession of any substances.
Source: Kingsport Times News, "Honesty results in felony charge for Hawkins inmate," Jeff Bobo, Nov. 27, 2012