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Fairfax Drug Possession Lawyer

If you have been charged with possession of controlled substances, a Fairfax drug possession lawyer can help you respond to the accusations. Drug crimes are punished harshly in Virginia, and you could face a lengthy jail term depending upon the type of drug and whether you have any prior convictions. There are defenses to a charge of drug possession, and a Fairfax drug attorney can help you to decide how best to deal with the charges.

Drug Possession Laws in Fairfax

Virginia Code Section 18.2-250 defines the crime of possession of a controlled substance. It is unlawful for you to have any controlled substance under your control unless you obtained it from a doctor with a valid prescription.

You can be convicted of possession even if the drug is not directly on your person, as long as the prosecutor can prove the drug was under your dominion and control and that you were aware of the nature of the substance. Simply being in a vehicle or premises that has controlled substances in it is not sufficient to create a presumption that the drug was in your possession.

Prosecutors do frequently charge you with possession of a controlled substance if drugs are found in your vehicle or in your house, but a Fairfax drug possession lawyer can help you defend against these charges if there is no proof the drugs were yours.

Penalties for Fairfax Drug Possession

Penalties for drug possession vary depending upon what “schedule” of drug you are accused of possessing. The state of Virginia divides narcotics and controlled substances into six different categories, called schedules, based upon whether the drugs have any accepted medical purpose and whether there is a strong potential for abuse and addiction. There are major difference in penalties for a Schedule I versus a Schedule VI substance:

  • Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II substance is a class 5 felony with a potential maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $2,500.  Schedule I substances (like Heroin, GHB, and ecstasy) are the most dangerous and addictive of drugs with no medicinal use according to Code Sections 54.3445 and 54.1-3446.  Schedule II drugs, like cocaine and morphine, have a medicinal use but a very high potential for addiction and abuse according to Code Sections 54.1-3447 and 54.1-3448.
  • Possession of a Schedule III substance is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a potential penalty of up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine.  Code Sections 54.1-3449 and 54.1-3450 define Schedule III substances (like Ketamine and Vicodin) as having a medicinal use and less potential for abuse and addiction than Schedule I or II substances.
  • Possession of a Schedule IV substance is a Class 2 misdemeanor with a maximum potential sentence of six months jail time and a $1,000 fine. Code sections 54.1-3451 and 54.1-3452 define and list these substances, which have limited potential for abuse and have a medicinal purpose.
  • Possession of a Schedule V substance is a Class 3 misdemeanor you could be fined $500 for.  Code sections 54.1-3453 and 54.1-3454 define Schedule V substances, which including medications like Codeine that have limited risk of abuse and a medicinal use.
  • Possession of a Schedule VI substance is a Class 4 misdemeanor that you could be fined up to $250 for. Code section 54.1-3455 defines Schedule VI substances to include prescription or restricted drugs not otherwise listed.

Special rules are established for possession of marijuana in Code Section 18.2-250.1. Knowingly and intentionally possessing marijuana without a prescription can lead to a misdemeanor charge, a potential fine of $500, and up to 30 days incarceration for a first offense.

Call a Fairfax Drug Possession Attorney Today

Our friendly team is standing by to conduct your initial consultation.  When you call in and speak to us about the details of your case, our drug possession lawyers in Fairfax will have the information necessary to begin planning an effective defense strategy. Entrapment, illegal searches, and insufficient proof of possession are some of the arguments that could be made in a drug possession case.

Deferred prosecution is also available for some first-time offenders and your lawyer can help you to explore this approach to avoiding a criminal record. Your attorney can try to cut a deal with the prosecutor, or represent you in trial and try to introduce doubt about guilt.

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