Gregory V Smith, Esq., J.D.
Criminal Attorney & Trial Lawyerc
Criminal Attorneys - Criminal Lawyers
Martinsburg West VirginiaServing: Martinsburg- Charles Town- Berkeley Springs
Berkeley- Jefferson- Morgan
Eastern-Panhandle West Virginia
Former Assistant Prosecutor &
Former Law Enforcement Officer
Gregory V Smith Criminal Attorney
Post Office Box 2174
Martinsburg, WV 25402
It has been said that the War on Drugs is a war on the Bill of Rights and this is evidenced by the the fervor and zeal at which our government has pursued this war which has ultimately been a war on the rights of all of us. Because drug users typically aim to keep their behaviors secret, the aggressive law enforcement schemes to go after them must necessarily penetrate the private lives of millions. Moreover, the expansion of police powers has been perhaps no greater than in this realm with law enforcement now having very few limits on their tactics. In addition, property may be seized on slight evidence and forfeited to the state or federal government without proof of the personal guilt of the owner.
Given the high rates of drug availability and usage in our country, coupled with the ever-increasing aggressiveness of law enforcement aimed going after drug offenders, drug charges are of the most common and of the most serious one can face. Drug accusations carry the very real potential for extremely long sentences, harsh collateral consequences and civil penalties that may be assessed under property forfeiture provisions. A drug charge can ruin a person's life which is why we aggressively defend drug cases using many different strategies. In general, there are three ways that drug charges are successfully defended: the drugs seized were not actually a controlled substance, the person did not actually "possess" the drugs , the drugs were seized in violation of the person's constitutional rights.
If you've been arrested on a drug charge, you're certainly not alone - more and more Americans are ensnared in our nation's failed "War on Drugs" every year. Local, state and federal governments continue to pour billions of dollars into this failed war year after year at the expense of individuals like you.
Fortunately, it's possible to mount an aggressive defense to a drug charge with the help of a skilled defense lawyer. An experienced drug lawyer from The Firm can thoroughly analyze your case and determine the most effective strategy to challenge the case against you.
Whether your drug charge is possession, sales or any other charge involving methamphetamine, powder cocaine, crack or base cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or PCP, it's possible to mount a strong defense with the help of the right defense lawyer.
A drug conviction carries extremely harsh punishment that often includes fines, asset forfeiture, and jail or prison time, so it's essential that you act decisively by assembling a strong defense team.
Some drug cases should be taken to trial, while others may be favorably resolved with a skillfully negotiated plea bargain that may result in alternative sentencing.
A drug charge can negatively impact every part of your life, but fortunately you can aggressively fight your case with the help of a skilled attorney. To learn more about strong defenses to felony drug charges, please contact an experienced defense attorney Gregory V Smith today for a free consultation, Call Criminal attorneys martinsburg wv....
Serving all of West Virginia.
Search and Seizure:
Perhaps more so than any other type of charge, we find that our clients charged with drug offenses have often had their constitutional rights violated in large part due to the over-zealousness of law enforcement tactics used in drug cases. One of the first steps we take in representing our clients accused of a drug charge is to analyze the legality of how the evidence was obtained. Evidence that is illegally obtained, whether that be for lack of probable cause or an illegal search and seizure, cannot be used against you. The Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and a violation of that can lead to a ruling by the court that illegally seized evidence is suppressed and inadmissible which most often leads to the dismissal of charges. We have successfully litigated constitutional violations on behalf of our clients which has lead to the dismissal of charges.
One way we have successfully challenged a client's accusation of possession of drugs is to make the case that there were no "affirmative links" to our client and the drugs. "Possession" means actual care, custody, control or management. Therefore, in order to convict someone for possession of a controlled substance, the person must have exercised care, custody and control over the substance.
Law enforcement would be looking at these things to help show an “affirmative link”:
(1) The person's presence when the search warrant executed;
(2) Contraband in plain view;
(3) The person's proximity to and the accessibility of the narcotic;
(4) Whether the person was under the influence of narcotics when arrested;
(5) Whether the person was in possession of other contraband when arrested;
(6) The person's attempted flight;
(7) The person's incriminating statements when arrested;
(8) The person's furtive gestures;
(9) Presence of odor of the contraband;
(10) Presence of other contraband or drug paraphernalia, not included in the charge;
(11) The person's ownership or right to possession of the place where the controlled substance was found; and
(12) Place the drugs found was enclosed
Drug Treatment and Diversion Programs Many of our clients have a serious substance abuse issue that needs immediate attention and intervention first and foremost. Working in collaboration with our social work team, we have successfully helped our clients turn their lives around by assessing and referring them early on in their cases. Often, if we can show the prosecutor that we have helped our clients' address the underlying substance abuse issue that caused them to enter the criminal justice system, we can convince them to dismiss or defer prosecution on their cases. In doing so, we have found that many times treating a substance abuse issue as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue, helps us solve two problems with one solution - treatment.
"Mr. Smith took the time to always talk with us and worked hard and long to help our son. Not only did he get him probation on his drug charges he helped him get treatment also. Our son is now working and taking college classes. Thanks to Mr. Smith he got another chance in life. Thanks. Jr. and Kim Martinsburg"
Could an Addiction-Proof Painkiller Finally Be on the Horizon?
A drug that enhances the effectiveness of prescription painkillers, while reducing their addictiveness and cutting chronic pain may be on the horizon, if a new line of animal research pans out.
A recent study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that when rodents were given a drug called (+)-naloxone — which is a mirror-image molecule of the drug naloxone, an overdose antidote — along with opioid drugs like morphine they did not display the typical signs of addiction, such as self-administering the drug or developing a preference for the place that they received it. Such behaviors typically occur when rats and mice are exposed to the same kinds of drugs that people tend to enjoy that have a potential for addiction. When these behaviors don’t manifest, it suggests that the animals aren’t feeling pleasure from the drugs.
Most surprisingly, while (+)-naloxone blocked the high from opioids, it enhanced the drugs’ pain-relieving effect. Many previous attempts to dissociate these characteristics of opioids in the brain have failed, leading researchers to believe it wasn’t possible. But the new research suggests it is — it’s just that until now, scientists may have been looking at the wrong pathways in the brain. The new study indicates that the high and most of the negative effects of opioids, such as tolerance and withdrawal, are actually caused by immune cells in the brain — not the neurons involved in pleasure and pain.
“This is a paradigm shift in how one views drug reward,” says lead author Linda Watkins of the University of Colorado, Boulder. “All prior concepts of why drugs like opioids are rewarding, why drugs become abused, have focused exclusively on neurons.”
While cautioning that the overall significance of the findings cannot yet be assessed, pioneering opioid researcher Dr. Gavril Pasternak of New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center said that the new work “opens a new area of study and potential insights that are important.” He was not associated with the research.
Neuroscientists tend to focus on the function of neurons, the nerve cells that are responsible for transmitting information throughout the brain. But about 90% of brain tissue is actually made of immune cells called glia, whose actions are less clearly understood and have often been considered mere “support” cells that lack important roles in emotion, perception or thought. Increasingly, however, studies like this suggest otherwise.
The study drug, (+)-naloxone, acts on glia, blocking a type of receptor called toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), which is found on glial cells. Activation of this receptor appears to be important for both the pleasure and dependence-producing effects of opioids: when the receptor was blocked by (+)-naloxone, rodents didn’t seek opioids or become tolerant to them. Blocking this receptor also enhanced opioids’ pain-relieving power.
But while giving (+)-naloxone to block TLR4 seemed to mitigate the development of opioid tolerance and withdrawal, mice that were bred to lack the TLR4 receptor altogether still experienced some withdrawal symptoms when opioids were stopped, suggesting that the function of the receptor doesn’t fully account for opioid dependence.
Here’s how the system may work: when exposed to opioid drugs like morphine, glial cells become active; in turn, they ramp up the activity of the neurons that respond to opioids, which are critical to pathways involved in pleasure and pain, explains Watkins. When this activity occurs in a pain pathway, glial activation amplifies pain. This counteracts what the opioid is “trying” to do for pain control, she says; morphine suppresses pain by acting on neurons, but it simultaneously enhances pain by activating glia. But since the morphine suppression is typically greater than the glial activation, the drug cuts pain overall.
Over time, with continue use of painkillers, however, glia become increasingly activated — that’s what reduces the drugs’ pain-relieving effect, producing tolerance and the need for larger and larger doses.
The same holds true for the neurons involved in opioid-related pleasure, according to Watkins; glial activation revs up the neurons, “but now the neurons are in the reward pathway so you get amplification of reward,” she says. “You can think of glia as volume controls. They can dial up pain. They can dial up drug reward.”
And (+)-naloxone seems to turn glia down. Some types of chronic pain may in fact be caused by inflammation related to glia turning up pain circuits; earlier research by Watkins and colleagues has shown that (+)-naloxone can also counteract this type of pain, at least in rodents.
So far, (+)-naloxone has not been tested on humans. However, another drug that blocks TLR4 has undergone early stage clinical testing for use in addiction treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms and block the opioid high. That drug, ibudilast, is already approved for other uses in Japan.
Potentially, ibudilast or a drug like (+)-naloxone could be added to prescription painkillers like OxyContin to increase pain relief, prevent the high and mitigate the development of tolerance and withdrawal upon cessation of use. “Combinations are an interesting possibility,” says Pasternak, adding that there’s not enough data yet to know whether they would work.
Also, it is not clear whether preventing the high would hinder certain aspects of pain relief in humans. Subjective experiences of opioid use suggest that the “high” — the relief of anxiety and sense of distance from the pain — is not totally separate from the actual physical pain relief, and multiple previous efforts to dissociate the two have failed.
By itself, however, (+)-naloxone or a similar drug could be developed to treat chronic pain. “We are trying to [raise the funds to] start a company to take this to clinical trials,” says Watkins. “There is a huge unmet need for effective therapies for chronic pain.”
Of course, the long history of the quest for non-addictive opioids is one of repeated failure. Heroin was supposed to be a less addictive form of morphine, and OxyContin was supposed to be a less addictive pain reliever, too. But these new immune system connections are only just beginning to be explored — and they may open up many new possibilities for relief.
Criminal Attorneys Martinsburg wv, Criminal Lawyers Martinsburg wv
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/24/could-an-addiction-proof-painkiller-finally-be-on-the-horizon/#ixzz2Bauy3PWz
“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Drug Charged ?
Gregory V Smith
Criminal Defense Attorney
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Special Fee and Service Considerations
for Active Duty (NG-AR) Military
and their Families,
as well as Our Veterens.
For- Staff. Sgt. USAF- MTI (Military Training Instructor [Drill Sgt.]) - O.T.S to 2.Lt. Stephen A. Smith , USAF, death from drowning off the coast of Japan in service to his country. 11 years active duty- R.I.P. Much Loved Son 01-18-82 to 04-10-10
For- Staff. SGT. USAF- MTI (Military Training Instructor [Drill Sgt.]) Matthew D. Smith, USAF/ T0- Staff. SGT. US Army/Inf. 10th Mountain Div. Iraq , 16 years active duty-Now ANG-Mil. Dis. D.C.-
and all those serving and that have served for our country and our rights!
Gregory V Smith Criminal Attorney
Post Office Box 2174
Martinsburg, WV 25402