The penalties for drug-related charges in Norfolk are serious. Regardless of the substance, at minimum, there are fines and a criminal record to contend with if convicted. The penalties increase significantly based on the substance and/or the amount of the substance possessed. If you have been arrested for drug charges in the greater Norfolk area, contact an experienced Norfolk drug attorney immediately.
Marijuana is not legal in Virginia. Simple possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor that is punishable with up to 30 days incarceration and a fine up to $500 on the first offense. In addition, your privilege to drive in Virginia will be suspended for 6 months if convicted. Even this most basic of drug charges should not be faced without representation from a drug lawyer in Norfolk, who has local and topical experience. A second possession offense and beyond is classified as a class one misdemeanor, which is punishable with up to a $2,500 fine and up to 12 months incarceration along with the 6-month license suspension.
Possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute is also a class one misdemeanor if the amount possessed is less than ½ ounce. The charge is a class five felony when the amount is more ½ ounce but less than five pounds. Class five felonies are punishable with one to 10 years of incarceration.
Possession with the intent to distribute more than five pounds of marijuana is a felony that is punishable with up to 30 years of incarceration. A conviction for distribution, possession with intent to distribute or conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana has a substantial mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years.
Substances, drugs, and some chemicals that can be used to make drugs are categorized with five classifications ranging from schedule I to schedule V. A substance’s classification is dictated by the probability of harm to the user and the likelihood of abuse.
Schedule I substances have no use in modern medicine and have the highest rate of abuse so they are deemed the most dangerous substances. Heroin is a drug classified as a Schedule I substance. Possession of a schedule I drug is a class five felony. Possession with the intent to distribute is punishable with up to 40 years incarceration and a fine up to $500,000 on the first offense. Schedule II substances include cocaine or methamphetamine. They are substances with high abuse potential. The penalties associated with Schedule II substances mirror those related to Schedule I.
Schedule III substances include those with a legitimate medical use, such as Hydrocodone, and have a low to moderate potential for dependency. The penalty for possession is a fine up to $2,500 and up to 12 months incarceration.
Schedule IV substances are those with a low probability of dependence and primarily have legitimate medical uses, like Ambien. Possession could result in a fine up to $500.
Schedule V substances have a low rate of dependency and generally include items that may only be purchased in limited quantities because they may be used to make more dangerous drugs. Over the counter cough medicine is a schedule five substance. Possession alone is a fine up to $250.
Possession with the intent to distribute schedule three, schedule four, and schedule five substances is a class one misdemeanor.
If you have been charged with a drug-related offense in Virginia, it is important to work with an attorney who is not just familiar with criminal law, but is also an experienced drug lawyer. The penalties if convicted are too harsh not to be represented by a knowledgeable Norfolk drug attorney whom you trust.
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