Possession of marijuana is still unlawful, but no longer a criminal offense.
The Laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia have changed as of July 1 2020. Contact us of all updates.
Virginia used to have some of the toughest laws in the country when it came to marijuana. On July 1, 2020 Virginia decided to decriminalize possession of marijuana. However, any amount over one ounce of marijuana will likely be viewed as Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (which is charged the same as selling marijuana). Therefore, if you have been charged with any marijuana-related crime in Virginia, you need to consult a Chesterfield County VA marijuana attorney to discuss your options. Under the laws of Virginia, sale, manufacture, possession with intent, distribution or a combination of the four violations, can lead to serious penalties, including fines and jail time. Besides that, a conviction comes with a permanent criminal record, which can significantly jeopardize your opportunities in education, housing, and employment, among others. Fortunately, a skilled drug attorney can help you fight these charges. By getting in touch with a criminal defense attorney, you will be increasing your chances of securing a favorable outcome.
Marijuana Laws in Virginia
|Up to 1 oz||Civil Violation||None||$25|
|Up to 1 oz||Misdemeanor||Up to 1 year||$ 2,500|
|1 oz – 5 lbs||Felony||1 – 10 years||$ 2,500|
|More than 5 lbs||Felony||5 – 30 years||$ 100,000|
|To a minor who is at least 3 years younger||Felony||10 – 50 years||$ 100,000|
|Within 1000 ft of a school or school bus stop||Felony||1* – 5 years||$ 100,000|
|Manufacture of marijuana||Felony||5 – 30 years||$ 10,000|
|Transporting more than 5 lbs into the state||Felony||5* – 40 years||$ 1,000,000|
|Includes possession with intent to distribute|
|* Mandatory minimum sentence|
Hash & Concentrates
|* hash + concentrates are now treated the same as regular marijuana|
|Possession or sell paraphernalia||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 2,500|
|To a minor who is at least 3 years younger||Felony||1 year||$ 2,500|
Civil Asset Forfeiture
|Vehicles and other assets can be seized in a civil proceeding, regardless of whether criminal charges are brought.|
|Maintaining a fortified drug house||Felony||1* – 10 years||N/A|
PRIOR TO JULY 1, 2020, Virginia Law Statue § 18.2-250.1. for Possession of Marijuana resulted in:
- Jail Time
- Maximum $2,500 fine, and/or
- Maximum 6 months loss of driving privileges in Virginia
- Loss of student aid
- Random Drug Screens
- Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
- Sentence to Community Service
- Substance Abuse Evaluation & Prevention Education
In Virginia, it is still unlawful to possess marijuana, intentionally and knowingly, and without a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner. Since it has been DECRIMINALIZED AS OF JULY 1, 2020, possession is punished as a civil offense of $25 (prepayable via a summons, such as a traffic ticket).
Penalties for cultivating marijuana or possessing it with the intention of selling or distributing are still SERIOUS CHARGES. For instance, if you are found in possession of more than 5 pounds of marijuana, you will likely be charged with possession with intent to distribute under Virginia Code Section 18.2-248.1 and the crime will be a felony, which attracts a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail term of up to 30 years. For sale and distribution of marijuana below 1 ounce, the crime will be a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which attracts a fine of $2,500 and not more than 1 year in jail. Criminal violations involving sale and distribution of more than 5 pounds of marijuana carry a jail term of 5 to 30 years. And if you are arrested and charged with sale and distribution of fewer than 5 pounds of marijuana, but more than 1 ounce, then you will be subject to a Felony facing 1 – 10 years.
Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of 12 months and a maximum fine of $2,500. If it’s a first offense, you are likely to walk away with a small penalty. Furthermore, there will be no suspension of your driver’s license, compared to some other drug crimes. However, if you are arrested and charged with distribution of paraphernalia to minors under the age of 18, then the charge will be upgraded to a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to 6 years in prison.
As you can see, sale, distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and growth of marijuana, are serious criminal violations, which attract heavy penalties. Possession of marijuana is now decriminalized in Virginia, but possession of anything more than one ounce is likely to be seen as possession with intent to distribute by law enforcement – a felony. Therefore, if you’ve been arrested and charged with marijuana growing or manufacturing, possession with intent to distribute, sale or distribution, it’s highly advisable to talk to a Chesterfield VA possession of marijuana attorney.
Penalties and Consequences Of Marijuana Distribution and Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana Charges
Apart from the legal penalties of such as fines and jail time, marijuana distribution charges can lead to several additional consequences. And some of these consequences will likely negatively affect your life forever. Some of the additional consequences that you might encounter include:
- Loss of employment opportunities: Under the laws of Virginia, employers have the right to run background checks on you, if you have applied for a position in their organization. Having a criminal conviction on your records such as marijuana possession with intent to distribute, sale or distribution, can jeopardize your chances of landing a job. Also, drug-related charges can prevent you from joining some professions. For instance, if you have been charged and convicted of distributing controlled substances, you cannot work as an elderly care provider or school bus driver in Chesterfield, VA.
- Loss of housing opportunities: Also, a conviction of marijuana distribution can lead to loss of housing opportunities, both public and private. Landlords have the permission to run background checks on all potential renters, as long as those checks don’t profile specific religious or racial groups. If a marijuana distribution charge shows up on your record during background checks, a landlord might deny you the opportunity to rent their houses. Besides that, you might be kicked out of your current apartment, once you have been convicted of a marijuana-related felony. On top of that, a landlord is at liberty to evict an entire household from a rented apartment, if one of the family members has been convicted of a felony such as marijuana distribution and possession with intent to distribute.
- Immigration proceedings: Drug-related convictions can also lead to serious negative implications for immigrants, especially for someone who is seeking to formalize their legal status in the U.S. One of the key requirement to naturalization, is the applicant be of good moral character. Therefore, if you have a misdemeanor or a felony conviction on your record, then you might not qualify for naturalization. The good news is that any marijuana-related offense doesn’t completely rule you out from citizenship, especially if you have been found in possession of 30 grams or less. Also, if you are facing multiple or serious marijuana violations, you can still prove to the court that you’ve indeed paid the penalty for your actions and you are fully rehabilitated.
Regardless of whether you are a citizen or not, if you have been arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute or distribution of marijuana, you need to contact a Chesterfield County VA possession of marijuana Lawyer as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter whether you were intending to keep that pound of marijuana for personal use, you are probably going to be charged as a felon due to the amount. Any wrong move during the case can lead to serious consequences, which can haunt you and your family forever. Therefore, you will need a criminal defense attorney, who will guide you on how best to tackle the charges you are facing. The law office of Weiland Upton will ensure your rights are protected in court. We will also put on an aggressive defense, to secure you a favorable outcome.
Experienced Chesterfield County Va Marijuana Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana Attorneys
If you are facing marijuana possession with intent or distribution charges in Virginia, you should know that your future and your freedom are on the line. Even if you might not be behind bars now, you could soon find yourself incarcerated, once you are convicted of marijuana possession with intent to distribute, sale or distribution. Therefore, don’t assume that the judges will be lenient with you, just because you are a student or a first offender or because marijuana is now decriminalized. Make sure you talk to a Chesterfield County VA possession with intent to distribute marijuana attorney immediately after you’ve been arrested.
We are award-winning criminal defense attorneys, serving Chesterfield and Central Virginia. Our skilled and experienced lawyers understand that every case presents a unique set of circumstances and facts. Therefore, every case that we handle, requires a unique approach. Whether you have been charged with possession with intent to distribute a substantial or small amount of marijuana, we are ready to provide you with the best legal representation possible.
At Weiland Upton, we understand the seriousness of the criminal charges you are facing. As your criminal defense attorneys, we are ready to protect your rights while seeking a favorable outcome to the charges you are facing. When you have an attorney from the law office of Weiland Upton in your corner, you will not only have an experienced attorney to represent you, you will also have encouragement and support throughout the proceedings.
Regardless of the issue you are facing, you can always count on our honest counsel, outstanding communication skills and proven commitment to go the extra mile for you in order to secure a favorable result for the charges you are facing. As one of the best Chesterfield VA marijuana distribution lawyers, our goal is to protect your stability, dignity as well as hope for the future. Whether you prefer a phone or in-person consultation, our attorneys are ready to discuss and review your case for free.
Contact Us Today 804-355-8037
There are no quick and clear resolutions when it comes to criminal charges such as marijuana possession with intent to distribute and distribution. But at Weiland Upton, we will work together with you, through an open, interactive session, to determine the strengths and weakness of your case while identifying the most effective way to resolve your case successfully.
Even though its decriminalized, a marijuana-related conviction can lead to substantial legal penalties, as well as a permanent criminal record. Your best chance of avoiding these hefty penalties and long-term consequences is by getting in touch with a skilled criminal defense attorney, immediately after you’ve been charged. Contact our law office today and schedule a free consultation with our criminal defense attorneys. We service clients in Chesterfield County and throughout Central Virginia.