Drug laws in Mclean and throughout Virginia criminalize the behaviors of possessing, transporting, and distributing certain drugs under various circumstances. Unlike in nearby areas such as Washington D.C., the possession of marijuana for non-medical purposes is illegal in Virginia. This means that a person can be charged with an unclassed misdemeanor merely by having spilled some marijuana on their person or in their vehicle. It is the mere presence and not the amount that makes such possession a crime. However, if a person is found to be in possession of more than one-half ounce of marijuana, the person will likely be charged with a felony offense. Similarly, it is illegal to possess, transport, or distribute any substance that has been deemed a Schedule I – VI by the Virginia Drug Control Act, unless a person meets an exception such as having a valid prescription.
If you are facing a drug charge, you should get in touch with an accomplished drug lawyer right away. A dedicated attorney who is experienced with McLean drug cases could advocate for you and protect your rights.
What makes a drug legal or illegal in Mclean will often depend on why a person is in possession of the drug. Does the person have a prescription? Is the person in possession of the substance in a professional capacity? If a person is in possession of marijuana or any substance that has been deemed a Schedule I through VI by the Drug Control Act, it will typically be an illegal drug unless the person possesses said substance due to a valid prescription or through the capacity of the person’s employment.
Schedule I and Schedule II Controlled Substances are penalized more harshly than others. A “controlled substance” is defined as a drug, substance, or immediate precursor to a Schedule I, II, III, IV, V, VI under the Virginia Drug Control Act (VA Code § 54.1-3400 et seq.). Examples of Schedule I drugs include, but are not limited to, opiates, hallucinogens, ethers, and salts. Persons charged with felony possession of a Schedule I in Mclean are often charged on the basis of possession of fentanyl, PCP, heroin, and hash oil. Schedule II drugs include cocaine, meth, PCP, and oxycodone.
In Mclean, drugs which have medically appropriate uses, but can be abused can be dealt with harshly. For example, if a person is prescribed a Schedule II drug such as hydrocodone for pain management following some type of surgery, this person may legally possess hydrocodone. However, if an individual is found to be in possession of hydrocodone and they do not have a valid prescription or is not in otherwise legal possession of the said drug, they can be charged with a Class 5 felony. This means that the person could be facing a penalty of one to ten years in prison or in the discretion of a jury or judge hearing a case without a jury, a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. An individual facing these penalties should consult with a lawyer who is experienced with building a defense in McLean drug cases.
The drug presence and drug-related offenses that Mclean law enforcement officers have been trying to crack down on include heroin, crack cocaine, and the violent offenses that can be associated with the use of these drugs. For example, many persons arrested for larcenies, burglaries, and robberies are alleged to have been using one of these drugs at the time of the offense and having committed these acts to support a drug habit. Law enforcement officers hope that by cracking down on drug offenders they might also crackdown on those committing violent offenses.
There are not any local laws that are specific to Mclean. However, Mclean cases are heard in Fairfax, which began a drug court in September of 2018. This court has worked with people with nonviolent felony probation violations who meet certain criteria for having a high risk of recidivism and a strong need for substance abuse treatment. Through this program, persons are incentivized to cooperate with treatment plans by the offer to dismiss persons’ probation violations upon successful completion. The program can last anywhere from 14 months to two years.
Call today if you have any questions about McLean drug cases and how an experienced lawyer could help you.
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