If you have been charged with one of the many possible drug crimes in Virginia, it’s time to talk to a Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Attorney about your options. Whether the charge is for drug possession, manufacture, distribution, or a combination of the three, you could be facing some serious fines and penalties, including jail time. Every person charged with a drug crime deserves a serious and skilled legal defense. Keep reading to find out what you could be up against, and how we can help you fight your drug charge.
For those charged in Virginia Beach, there is a possibility of jail time even for a very small amount of marijuana. It is a common misconception that because the drug was just marijuana, the possession charge is just a minor offense. While it may be legal in the future, it is not legal right now and some local jurisdictions take it very seriously.
Possession of Marijuana in Virginia Beach
A first offense Possession of Marijuana charge in Virginia is a misdemeanor. If found guilty, you face up to thirty days in jail, a fine up to $500, and a six-month suspension of your driver’s license. A strong defense can sometimes overcome the charge, and there is the possibility of getting the charge dismissed under a First-time Offender Program. In fact, “possession” of any drug can be surprisingly difficult for the Commonwealth to prove in court when challenged with the right defense.
If you have two or more prior convictions of marijuana possession, then the penalties are worse. You could be facing a one-year jail sentence and up to $2,500 in fines. This conviction will also show up on a criminal background check, where potential employers and landlords will see it.
Distribution of Marijuana (or Possession with Intent to Distribute / PWID)
The penalty for a conviction of a Distribution of Marijuana charge in Virginia varies greatly, depending on several factors. To determine the possible penalty, you have to look at the quantity of the marijuana, who you are selling it to, what your intent was, and whether you have been convicted of this offense before. You should know that Possession with Intent, even if only for marijuana, will still be treated like a major drug crime in many Virginia jurisdictions, especially Virginia Beach. Even though D.C. and Maryland have decriminalized possession of marijuana, Virginia Beach continues very strict enforcement of marijuana distribution.
The penalties range anywhere from up to a year in jail for a Class One Misdemeanor offense, to life in prison for a third felony offense. As you can see, this is a serious charge, and you will need to know exactly what you are facing from the very beginning. There are many available defenses to this type of criminal charge, and you should hire an attorney experienced with representation on drug charges, and experienced in the jurisdiction where you are charged. This is especially true for Virginia Beach and Norfolk cases.
Drug-related charges in Virginia are serious. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.