Hanover County VA Possession of Marijuana Lawyers
Over the last couple of years, several states in the country have legalized marijuana, both for medical and recreational use. However, in Hanover County Virginia, being in possession of even a small amount of marijuana can lead to heavy penalties such as jail time and a fine. And in some situations, your driver’s license can be suspended for 6 to 12 months. Besides the legal penalties, a criminal conviction for marijuana possession, sale, or distribution, stays on your record forever, meaning it could jeopardize various opportunities in the future. Whether you’ve been charged with distribution, possession, selling or growing marijuana, the penalties of a conviction can be severe in Hanover County VA.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with any marijuana-related offense, it’s in your best interest, to contact a Hanover VA possession of marijuana attorney. Regardless of the severity of the charges you are facing, you have the right to a fair trial, and this involves the presence of a legal advocate, who will defend your interests and protect your rights. At Weiland Upton, we can help you to reduce the possible consequences on your professional and personal life. We have decades of experience as criminal defense attorneys when it comes to handling marijuana violations, ranging from serious felonies to minor misdemeanors. Contact us today and let’s evaluate your options.
Marijuana Laws in Hanover County Virginia
According to Code § 18.2-250.1 of the laws of Virginia, it’s a criminal offense to possess any amount of marijuana, if you don’t have a valid medical prescription. Also, medical practitioners in Virginia cannot prescribe marijuana. Marijuana possession is a misdemeanor, which attracts a fine of $500, a jail term of 30 days as well as suspension of your driving privileges for 6 months. If you are arrested and charged with marijuana possession for a second time, then you will be facing a jail term of up to 12 months, a maximum fine of $2,500 and suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months.
Even a first-time marijuana possession conviction will go on your record and it will stay there forever. In Virginia, there is no provision to expunge a record, even if you completed the first offender’s program and the charges were dismissed. Marijuana ash, residue, tar, and resin, are also treated as marijuana. Due to this provision, law enforcement officers in Hanover VA can charge you with marijuana possession, even if it’s a tiny amount of ash, residue, or resin on a bong or pipe. To be charged with marijuana possession, the state has to prove that the substance you were arrested with is marijuana and it was actually in your possession.
According to § 18.2-248.1 of the laws of Virginia, possession with intent to distribute marijuana is a crime. The penalty you will get upon conviction will depend on the amount of marijuana in your possession. Possession with the intention to distribute less than 0.5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor that carries a jail term of 12 months and a compulsory 6-month license suspension. If you are found in possession with intent to distribute 0.5 ounces to 5 pounds of marijuana, you will be subject to a felony, which attracts a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a compulsory suspension of your driving privileges. Possession with intent to distribute more than 100kgs of marijuana is a felony in Virginia, which can lead to a life in prison.
Growing, preparing, producing, propagating, compounding, processing or converting marijuana, with the intent to sell or distribute, is a felony in Hanover VA. This crime carries a jail term of 5 to 30 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. It’s important to note that there are no minimum quantity requirements when it comes to cultivating marijuana with the intent to sell. Even a single plant can lead to felony charges.
First Offender Program for Hanover Va
In Hanover County VA, if you are facing marijuana possession or distribution charges for the first time, then you might be eligible for the state’s first offender program. Popularly known as the 251 program or the marijuana diversion program, it allows you to have your charges dismissed, as long as you comply with a certain set of regulations. As much as having your charges dropped sounds like a great plan, the 251-diversion program comes with strict conditions and exceptions.
To qualify for this program, you must plead guilty to the marijuana possession or distribution charges you are facing. Also, you have to acknowledge that violating the conditions and terms of this program, will automatically lead to a conviction. Therefore, if you opt for this program and you violate the terms and conditions of the program, then you will not have an opportunity to fight the charges in court. You either have to adhere to the conditions and complete the program, or you will be convicted and punished accordingly.
As part of the program, you must also remain drug and alcohol-free, during the entire probation period. You must also submit to regular alcohol and drug tests. If you admit to using drugs during the probation period or show up for classes under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be required to undertake extra classes. Besides that, you will have to pay the costs of that program, either partially or in full, depending on your financial situation. It’s important to note that some educational institutions and employers consider the deferred disposition program a conviction since it requires you to plead guilty. Therefore, as much as the charges might be dismissed upon successful completion of the 251 program, you will still end up with a permanent criminal record. And this criminal record can affect schooling and employment opportunities, as well as security clearances.
Experienced Hanover County VA Attorneys
Being arrested and charged with a serious criminal offense such as marijuana possession or distribution can be a frightening and overwhelming moment, especially if you’ve never been in such a situation before. Whether you’ve been arrested and charged with a federal or state-level offense, or you’ve been asked to testify as a witness in a marijuana-related trial, you need to hire a Hanover VA possession of marijuana attorney to protect your rights and handle your defense. As noted earlier, the consequences of a criminal conviction related to the sale or distribution of marijuana, extend beyond the court penalties.
A criminal record will affect your family, your career, your education, your reputation, as well as your finances, among other negative implications. For instance, lengthy probation can take away your freedoms and privileges. At the same time, court-ordered treatment programs will not only consume your time but also drain your finances, since you have to cover the costs of such programs. Also, a criminal conviction comes with social stigma, which can affect your relationships with family and friends. Besides that, a criminal conviction can prevent you from securing educational or job opportunities, thus ruining your life forever.
If you want to minimize the negative implications of a conviction or even avoid a conviction completely, then you need to consult experienced Hanover VA possession of marijuana attorneys. As experienced criminal defense lawyers, we understand the serious ramifications of the charges you are facing, as well as the long-term effects of a conviction. We are dedicated to providing professional and high-quality legal representation if you have been charged with marijuana possession and distribution in Hanover Virginia.
At Weiland Upton, we develop and nurture strong and personal relationships with our clients. As your criminal defense attorneys, we strive to provide you with the same level of legal guidance that we would extend to our friends and family. Once you reach out to us, you are entrusting us with plenty of priceless things such as your reputation, your freedom and most importantly, your life. Therefore, we don’t take this for granted, and we treat this responsibility with the highest level of seriousness that it deserves. Handling complex felony cases, as well as minor misdemeanors, the law firm of Weiland Upton, will treat your case with utmost discretion while representing your best interests at all times.
Contact Us Today at 804-355-8073
If you’ve been charged with marijuana possession or distribution in Hanover VA, it’s vital that you understand your available defense options, as well as your legal rights. Whether your case involves a small or large amount of marijuana, the consequences can have a negative impact on your life forever. If your goal is to avoid these dire consequences, then you need to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney. At Weiland Upton, we represent hundreds of clients charged with marijuana-related offenses every year. As a result, we have gained massive knowledge and skills, when it comes to handling drug-related cases. Every case has a different background and a unique set of circumstances. We will evaluate your case and then present you with the most viable option.The criminal defense attorneys can answer all your questions related to the charges you are facing. Marijuana possession and distribution charges are serious violations. Therefore, only a criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to your course should handle your case. At Weiland Upton, that is exactly what you will get. Consult us today for a free consultation.
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