Virginia has some of the toughest laws in the country when it comes to marijuana. Therefore, if you have been charged with any marijuana-related crime Virginia, you need to consult a Chesterfield County VA possession of marijuana attorney, to discuss your options. Under the laws of Virginia, sale, manufacture, possession, 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 drugs 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
Virginia Law Statue § 18.2-250.1. for Possession of Marijuana can result 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’s a criminal offense to possess marijuana, intentionally and knowingly, and without a prescription form a licensed medical practitioner. However, if marijuana is found in your car or in your house, law enforcement officers cannot establish a crime simply based on that. Possession of marijuana is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, which attracts a penalty of $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail.
Penalties for cultivating marijuana or possessing it with the intention of selling or distributing are stiffer. For instance, if you are found in possession of more than 5 pounds of marijuana, 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 0.5 ounces, the crime will be a class 5 felony, which attracts a fine of $2,500 and not more than 10 years 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 0.5 pounds of marijuana, then you will be subject to a Class 1 misdemeanor, which attracts a maximum jail term of 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
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 other marijuana 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, and growth of marijuana, are serious criminal violations, which attract heavy penalties. Therefore, f you’ve been arrested and charged with marijuana possession, sale or distribution, it’s highly advisable to talk to a Chesterfield VA possession of marijuana attorney.
Penalties and Consequences Of Possession of Marijuana Charges
Apart from the legal penalties of such as fines, license suspension and jail time, marijuana possession and conviction charges can lead to several additional consequences. And some of these consequences can 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, 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 being in possession of 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 possession and 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 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.
- 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 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 the amount in your possession was negligible or substantial. 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.
First Offender Program
According to the VA Code § 18.2-25, if you have not been previously convicted of any marijuana-related offense, then you can qualify for the state’s first offender program. Under this program, you will be placed under probation conditions, and undergo regular drug screening and testing. Also, you will be required to do community service, for a certain number of hours. If you complete this program successfully, your marijuana charges will be dismissed, but they will remain on your record. And if you fail to complete the program, then you will be found guilty of the marijuana violations you had earlier been charged with. Also, you will be permanently banned from ever participating in that program again.
Experienced Chesterfield County Va Possession of Marijuana Attorneys
If you are facing marijuana possession 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, 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. Make sure you talk to a Chesterfield County VA possession of 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 of 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, to secure a favorable result for the charges you are facing. As one of the best Chesterfield VA possession of marijuana 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 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.
A conviction for even simple marijuana-related offenses 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 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 Northern Virginia.
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