MANASSAS ATTORNEY DEFENDS THOSE CHARGED WITH DRUG CRIMES
Like most of the other states, Virginia treats crimes of drug distribution, sale, cultivation, and manufacturing more seriously than crimes of simple illegal drug possession. Drug crimes in Virginia will be charged as either felonies or as misdemeanors, depending on:
- the type and amount of illegal drugs involved
- whether the defendant is accused of possession of illegal drugs, sale, or the manufacture or cultivation of illegal drugs
If you are charged with a drug crime in the Manassas area, you can’t afford to hire the wrong attorney. You’ll need to be defended by a Manassas drug crimes attorney who has substantial experience and success representing those who are charged with drug crimes in this state.
WHAT ARE VIRGINIA’S MARIJUANA LAWS?
Possessing marijuana is illegal in Virginia without a licensed doctor’s prescription. It’s a misdemeanor punishable upon conviction with up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Subsequent convictions are punishable with up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Penalties are harsher for those who illegally cultivate marijuana or possess it with the intention to sell. Specific penalties hinge on the amount of marijuana involved. Cultivating more than 5 pounds of marijuana is a felony punishable with 5 to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
HOW ARE OTHER DRUG CRIMES HANDLED IN VIRGINIA?
Virginia law divides other illegal drugs into 6 categories or “schedules.” Schedules I and II drugs are the most dangerous, with the least medical value. A drug’s schedule – and the amount involved – determine the precise charges that will be filed against a drug crime suspect.
Generally speaking, for Schedule I and II illegal substances, violators will be charged with a Class 5 felony, which is punishable upon conviction with up to $2,500 in fines and up to 10 years in prison. The charges and penalties for other drug crimes in Virginia include:
- A Schedule III drug crime is generally charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction with up to $2,500 in fines and up to a year in jail.
- A Schedule IV drug crime is usually charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction with a $1,000 maximum fine and up to 180 days in jail.
- Schedule V drug crimes are usually Class 3 misdemeanors punishable upon conviction with a fine of up to $500.
- Schedule VI drug crimes are usually Class 4 misdemeanors punishable upon conviction with a fine of up to $250.
IS THERE ANOTHER OPTION FOR FIRST OFFENDERS?
Some first offenders may qualify for probation by completing a First Offender Program, which may include drug treatment, classes, unannounced drug screenings, and community service. A violation of probation may be penalized with the maximum sentence for the original charge.
If you transport certain drugs into Virginia with the intent to sell those drugs – at least one ounce of cocaine, at least one ounce of a Schedule I or II drug, or five ounces or more of marijuana – you may be charged with transporting controlled substances into Virginia, which is a felony.
Transporting controlled substances into Virginia is punishable upon conviction with a 5- to 40-year prison term, a fine of up to $1 million, and a minimum mandatory sentence of at least 3 years in prison. That mandatory minimum sentence goes up to 10 years for a second conviction.
WILL YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY’S HELP?
As you can see, drug crimes are treated quite seriously in this state. If you are charged with a drug crime, you will need a good defense lawyer’s help.
Trying to act as your own lawyer and defend yourself against a drug charge is never a good idea. The law is too complicated, and it is far too easy to make a serious mistake or to say something incriminating that can be used against you.
HOW WILL A DEFENSE ATTORNEY FIGHT ON YOUR BEHALF?
The right attorney has several ways to defend a client against drug charges. When a defendant is wrongly charged with possessing another person’s illegal drugs – and can prove it – or when the police violate someone’s rights in order to obtain evidence, a drug charge can often be dismissed.
Your attorney will choose a defense strategy based on the details and circumstances of your particular case. Since 2000, Manassas drug crimes attorney Scott C. Nolan has been aggressively and successfully representing clients who are charged with drug crimes in Northern Virginia.
In a drug case, if a dismissal or a not guilty verdict is not possible because the evidence against you is overwhelming, Scott C. Nolan will fight for reduced or alternative sentencing like a First Offender Program. He will do what it takes to bring your drug case to its best possible resolution.