If you are accused of possessing any type of drug, contact a Newport News drug lawyer. The Commonwealth carries the burden of establishing your guilt. However, you should never leave your fate in the prosecutor’s hands.
Schedule an initial consultation with a Newport News criminal lawyer to understand the types of charges and punishments that you are facing. Your lawyer will also tell you whether there is a chance that the charge will be dismissed or reduced.
Newport News, like the federal government, categorizes certain drugs as controlled substances. Drug charges involving the use and distribution of these controlled substances are classified as “schedules.” The Commonwealth is one of a few jurisdictions that has six schedules. Each schedule has different penalties depending on the type of drug that an individual is accused of possessing.
Virginia Code 18.2-250 outlines the offenses dealing with the possession of controlled substances. Under this statute, it is illegal for an individual to intentionally or knowingly possess a controlled substance unless he or she has a valid prescription.
Charges and punishments dealing with the distribution of controlled substances are described in Va. Code 18.2-248. These charges involve possessing drugs with the intent to sell, deliver, or distribute and carry potentially severe consequences that warrant attention from a drug lawyer in Virginia.
Each schedule has its penalties. Possession of Schedule I and II drugs is a Class 5 felony. Possible prison sentences include up to 10 years. A Schedule III drug possession conviction is considered a misdemeanor conviction. This conviction includes up to a $2,500 fine and one year in jail.
The other schedules include the following punishments:
The penalties above only list some of the possible sentences that you could face for drug possession. Contact a Newport News drug lawyer to find out how to fight your drug charge. The charge could be reduced or even dismissed.
Schedule I includes drugs that are highly abused and are not acceptable to possess, even with a legitimate medical excuse. These drugs are:
Schedule II drugs are highly abused; however, some of these drugs have highly restricted medical uses. Schedule II drugs include:
Schedule III drugs are not abused to the same extent as drugs in Schedules I and II. Also, the drugs have some legitimate medical uses. They include:
The drugs in Schedule IV have a low potential for abuse. The following drugs also have legitimate medical uses with prescriptions:
Schedule V drugs have an extremely low potential for abuse compared to the other schedules listed. They are codeine-based cough medicines.
Marijuana is in a class of its own and is proscribed by VA Code Section 18.2-250.1. The penalties for the illegal possession of marijuana are up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines for a first-offense marijuana possession and up to 12 months in jail and $2500 in fines for a person who has a prior marijuana conviction. Some states have decided to allow the possession of small amounts of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
While medicinal marijuana certificates from other states are not necessarily honored in Virginia, if you possess such a certificate, your Newport News drug lawyer may be abe to use it to secure a better outcome in your case.
You have plenty of drug possession defenses available to you, depending on the facts of your case. You and your Newport News drug attorney will outline the best defense for you. There are several general defenses used in drug possession cases. For example, your drug lawyer in Newport News can challenge the elements, or basics, of your possession charge, such as whether you actually knew or intended to possess the drug.
Although you do not need to have the drugs in your hands or pocket to be criminally charged with possession, the Commonwealth has to prove intent and knowledge. If the drugs were found in your home that you share with someone else, this can cast doubt on whether the drugs were actually yours.
Other defenses can include having a prescription for the medication and procedural challenges. Procedural challenges include questioning whether the police officer had the right to search you or your vehicle. It may also involve challenging whether the police officer actual advised you of your rights.
If you have been charged or are facing possible drug possession charges, contact us. Your Newport News drugs lawyer is ready to fight on your behalf. The lawyer will assess your case and raise a defense to challenge any of the Commonwealth’s potential evidence. In addition, your Newport News drug lawyer will work to have the drug possession charges dismissed or reduced.
Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.