As is the case for all police officers throughout the state of Virginia, there are rules in place that law enforcement must follow when investigating or arresting someone. Those laws are in place to protect citizens from officers who are overzealous. When they are violated, someone who is accused of committing a crime could find that the charges are dropped. It is even possible that individuals who are convicted of a crime could be let off the hook. Recently, several individuals in this situation recently found their drug convictions vacated.
The reason for the change is an investigation that is being conducted into a former detective. There are reportedly issues with some of the search warrants he signed and presumably relied upon to gather evidence used against individuals who were convicted. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the documents shine light on the integrity of them. Specifically, in some of the cases the man handled, it is thought that the former investigator repeatedly reused the same information but associated it with different confidential drug informants.
The three people who have been freed may not be the only ones impacted by this. According to the Commonwealth Attorney reviewing the matter, his office is in the process of voiding four other convictions. Whether others will have their convictions vacated remains to be seen.
While the individuals who are getting a second chance are undoubtedly pleased about the turn of events, they most likely wish that they were never in that situation in the first place. Working with a criminal defense lawyer is the best way to try to secure that outcome.