Have you recently been charged with a drug crime? Are you wondering about the penalties for possession in Virginia?
This article provides information on the penalties for unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Read on to learn the charges you could be facing and how experienced drug crime lawyers can protect your rights.
Unlawful Possession Penalties
In Virginia, there is no minimum amount of carried substance necessary for arrest. If you are caught with illegal substances on your person, no matter what the quantity, you will face a drug possession charge.
The severity of penalties for possession of illicit substances is largely dependent upon the intent of the individual arrested with the substance. The table below illustrates the various levels of severity for each type of drug offense:
|Drug Crime||Level of Offense||Penalty|
|Possession of a controlled substance (Schedule VI – V)||Misdemeanor (Class 4 and 3)||Fines ranging from $250-$500.|
|Possession of a controlled substance (Schedule IV-III)||Misdemeanor (Class 2 and 1)||Six to 12 months in prison, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,500|
|Possession of a controlled substance (Schedule II – I)||Felony (Class 5)||One to 10 years in prison, or up to 12 months’ jail time and fines as high as $2,500.|
|Possession of marijuana||Misdemeanor||1st Offense: Up to 30 days’ jail time and fines as high as $500. 2nd Offense: Up to one year in prison, with fines as high as $2,500.|
|Possession with intent to sell or distribute less than ½ ounce of marijuana.||Misdemeanor||Up to one year in prison, with fines as high as $2,500.|
|Possession with intent to sell or distribute more than ½ ounce but less than five pounds of marijuana.||Felony||From one to 10 years in prison, or up to one year of jail time with fines as high as $2,500.|
|Possession with intent to sell or distribute (Schedule VI – V)||Misdemeanor (Class 1)||Up to 12 months in jail with fines as high as $2500.|
|Possession with intent to sell or distribute (Schedule IV)||Felony (Class 6)||One to five years in prison.|
|Possession with intent to sell or distribute (Schedule III)||Felony (Class 5)||One to ten years in prison.|
|Possession with intent to sell or distribute (Schedule II – I)||Felony||1st Offense: From five to 40 years in prison with fines as high as $500,000. 2nd Offense: From five years to life in prison, with fines as high as $500,000. There is also a three-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.|
Why You Need An Experienced Drug Lawyer
No matter the charges, the penalties for possession in Virginia are very strict. A drug conviction can result in a host of issues beyond the legal ramifications.
Here are a few of the issues a drug conviction can cause in day-to-day life:
- Limited opportunities for employment
- Deportation (for non-U.S. residents)
- Loss of personal property and real estate connected to the crime
- Forfeiture of government benefits, including financial aid for schools
In order to protect your rights, it is essential that you work with an experienced drug lawyer who can fight your charges.
So who can you trust to provide skilled legal representation in your drug possession case?
Contact The Irving Law Firm, P.C.
Our experienced criminal lawyers will fight to protect your rights and keep your life on track.