Several US states and jurisdictions have legalized marijuana possession or recreational use in recent years, but Virginia is not one of them.
While marijuana possession may not be treated as harshly as some other drug possession charges, the offense is still serious and can create a criminal record and negatively impact a person’s employment, education and other opportunities.
Our Manassas marijuana possession lawyers have experience working with both students and professionals who are concerned about how such a charge might impact financial aid status, professional licensing or security clearances. If you or a loved one are facing a marijuana possession charge, one of our experienced Manassas marijuana possession attorneys can help. Call and schedule a consultation with a Manassas drug lawyer today to discuss your case.
In Virginia, it is illegal to possess marijuana without the proper authorization or a valid prescription to use the drug for medicinal purposes. If you believe you had an authorized or legal reason to possess marijuana, or if you are a caretaker for someone who uses marijuana medicinally, a Manassas marijuana possession lawyer can advise you regarding your rights.
First-time possession of marijuana is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines. A previous drug-related conviction can trigger heightened penalties for subsequent marijuana possession charges, upping the charge to a Class 1 misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and $2500 in fines.
The law in Virginia allows Manassas marijuana possession attorneys to pursue deferred charges and penalties for individuals facing possession charges who have never dealt with a previous drug-related charge. In other words, if the court agrees, and you have a clean record, you may be given probation as opposed to the penalties designated by the statute. The case against you would be deferred, or placed on hold, pending the completion of your probation period and all of the conditions set forth by the court.
The court may still impose certain requirements that must be fulfilled in order to successfully complete probation under Virginia Code 18.2-251.
If you are placed on probation, the court may compel you to complete a substance abuse assessment, and applicable treatment and education programs, to submit to random drug tests, to be employed or seeking gainful employment, and to complete community service hours. In addition, your privilege to drive in Virginia will be suspended for 6 months.
If you are accused of possessing marijuana illegally, you may have the opportunity to be placed on probation, so long as you do not have any previous drug-related convictions or probations. Not all first-time offenders receive probation, though.
With the court having so much discretion to reduce or defer marijuana possession charges, it is especially important to work with a Manassas marijuana possession lawyer familiar with the legal arguments in favor of issuing probation to those accused of marijuana possession for the first-time. Having an experienced Manassas marijuana possession attorney who can advocate for you in court is one of the best steps you can take toward obtaining a beneficial outcome for your case.
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