Richmond Drug Lawyer
If you are charged with a drug-related criminal offense in the greater Richmond area, or anywhere in Virginia, a Richmond drug lawyer can help. An experienced drug lawyer in Richmond can make a significant difference in the outcome of a drug-related prosecution and can ensure that you are afforded all of the rights to which you are entitled.
Types of Drug Laws
Virginia drug laws are vigorously prosecuted and are often considered harsh by some, especially when compared with other jurisdictions. Penalties associated with various drug crimes often relate to the amount and type of drug involved.
Drugs, often referred to as “controlled substances” fall into different categories designated by statute. Marijuana (cannabis) is a schedule controlled substance, although Virginia law deals with marijuana as its own category of drug and provides penalties tailored to drug crimes related to the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana. A Richmond drug lawyer will be able to give you more information on the specific type of drug law you may be facing.
Drug Crime Penalties
Convictions for criminal drug offenses in Virginia have serious consequences, including incarceration in prison or jail, fines, and other significant penalties. Penalties for drug possession in Virginia include:
- Possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance (e.g., cocaine or heroin) is a class 5 felony and can result in up to 10 years in prison. Va. Code Section 18.2-10(e).
Possession of a schedule III controlled substance is class 1 misdemeanor and can result in up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Va. Code Section 18.2-11(a). Possession of a schedule IV controlled substance is a class 2 misdemeanor and can result in up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Va. Code Section 18.2-11(b). Possession of a schedule V controlled substance is a class 3 misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $500. Va. Code Section 18.2-11(c). Possession of a schedule VI controlled substance is a class 4 misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $250. Va. Code Section 18.2-11(d).
Possession of Marijuana
First offense – A misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Va. Code Section 18.2-250.1(A).
Subsequent offense – A class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Sections 18.2-250.1(A) and 18.2-11(a).
There are greatly enhanced penalties for drug-related offenses that have elements beyond mere possession, such as:
- Manufacture, sale, possession with intent to distribute
- Continuing criminal enterprises. Code Section 18.2-248(l)
- Transporting controlled substances into Virginia. Code Section 18.248.01
- Sale, gift, or possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Va. Code Section 18.2-248.1
- Distributing controlled substances to minors. Code Section 18.2-255
- Selling, distributing, controlled substances near certain areas. Code Section 18.2-255.2
- Conspiracy to commit drug-related offense. Va. Code Section 18.2-256
Finding a Richmond Drug Lawyer
If you are charged with a drug-related offense in Virginia you should obtain a qualified and experienced Richmond drug lawyer as soon as possible to ensure a vigorous defense and that your rights are protected. An experienced attorney is adept at aggressively defending the rights of clients accused of drug-related offenses in the greater Richmond metropolitan area and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.