Drug Crime Lawyer Virginia

Virginia Drug Statutes

Criminal code Section 18.2-250 covers possession of controlled substances, making it illegal for a person to intentionally acquire a controlled substance not prescribed to them by a medical practitioner. Section 18.2-248 deals with distribution of controlled substances.

Although only a Virginia drug lawyer can explain how the law may apply to fact-specific circumstances, we have provided a brief overview of the major statutes and Virginia laws regarding:

In Virginia, controlled substances are divided into six Schedules. Schedule I substances are deemed the most dangerous while Schedule VI substances have been reported in few cases of addiction, if any at all.

  1. Schedule I (dangerous and addictive, no medical use): GHB, Heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy
  2. Schedule II (highly addictive, some medical use): Methadone, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, PCP, Morphine
  3. Schedule III (highly addictive, frequent medical use): Steroids, Ketamine, Vicodin, Hydrocodone
  4. Schedule IV (some risk of addiction, prescription drugs): Rohypnol, Valium, Xanax
  5. Schedule V (minor addiction risk, cold medications): Codeine
  6. Schedule VI (little to no risk of addiction): Marijuana

Virginia is one of the few states to include a Schedule VI of controlled substances. These drugs carry the lightest penalties for convictions, and may result in deferred sentences. For more information on controlled substances and Schedules, visit this link here.

Penalties for Virginia Drug Law Convictions

Possession of both Schedule I and II drugs is considered a Class 5 felony, and can carry a possible prison sentence of up to 10 years as well as up to $2, 500 in fines. A Schedule III drug possession conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a potential 12 month jail sentence and up to $2, 500 in fines. Schedule IV drugs are the last tier of drugs that carry a potential jail sentence, and can result in up to six months in jail and/or $1, 000 in fines.

Possession of Schedule V and VI controlled substances are both misdemeanors and carry the potential of fines up to $500 and $250, respectively.

Drug distribution carries much harsher penalties than simple possession, and vary based on the amount the accused intended to sell and the specific controlled substances involved in the alleged crime. Intent to distribute a Schedule I or II substance carries a minimum prison sentence of five years (up to a maximum of 40) and a fine of up to $500, 000, for example. State code Section 18.2-248 covers each of the associated penalties for Virginia drug distribution in full.

Defenses Against Drug Charges

Simply owning or residing in a dwelling or vehicle where drugs are found to be present is not necessarily evidence that a person knowingly possessed the illegal controlled substance. As such, more proof is often required to secure a conviction under local drug laws.

In addition, a skilled Virginia drug lawyer will often argue that simple drug paraphernalia, such as a glass pipe or rolled up dollar bill, was not intended for the use of illegal substances. Normally under state law, ownership of drug paraphernalia is illegal and denotes any equipment, material, or product for the use or concealment of drugs.

In paraphernalia cases, prosecutors must prove that the items suspected in drug use were primarily used in relation to drugs, which usually requires more evidence than the mere presence of paraphernalia.

Contact a Virginia Drug Lawyer Today

Drug laws are difficult to get a full understanding on because they vary so greatly depending on a number of factors. They include the type of controlled substance in question, the amount, your perceived intent with these substances, and even your past criminal history.

If you are the subject of an ongoing investigation in this area, we suggest you call us today and set up a free consultation where a Virginia drug lawyer with our firm will be able to explain what you might expect from the process that lies ahead.

Even if you have been formally charged, it pays to have a qualified legal professional help you understand why you face the charges you do, and what penalties could accompany a conviction in your case.

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