Although the possession, sale, and distribution or marijuana is a crime under federal law, 33 states across the country allow its use for medical purposes. Also, at least 10 states allow the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. In Virginia, the use of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal. Virginia is among the 17 states in the country that have banned the use of marijuana, both for medicinal and recreational purposes. Therefore, under Virginia law, possession of marijuana is a serious criminal offense, which comes with serious consequences upon conviction. Even if it’s the first conviction, you will still face serious consequences. Contact a Richmond VA Possession of Marijuana Attorney ASAP!
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It’s also important to note that you can still be arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, even if you have a written medical prescription. On the other hand, if marijuana is found on your property or in your vehicle, there is no presumption that you intentionally or knowingly possessed it. As you can see, marijuana laws in Virginia are quite complex. Without proper legal assistance, you can easily incriminate yourself even without knowing it. If you have been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana in Richmond, then you should contact a attorney right away.
RVA Possession of Marijuana Laws
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
If you are arrested and charged for marijuana possession for the first time, the maximum penalty you can receive is a 30-day jail term and fine of $500. Also, the judge presiding over your case might assign you some hours of community service. Failure to complete the community service might lead to suspension of your driver’s license. If you are arrested for marijuana possession again, then the charge will automatically become a Class 1 misdemeanor. In Virginia, a Class 1 misdemeanor offense carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail.
In Richmond, Virginia, it’s a felony to grow, sell, possess or distribute substantial quantities of marijuana. However, the penalties for this crime are different from those of selling other controlled substances. Unlike other drugs, the penalties for distribution of marijuana will depend on the quantity of marijuana in your possession. Therefore, the higher the amount of marijuana in your possession, the bigger the penalties. As noted earlier, the possession of large amounts of marijuana doesn’t translate there is enough evidence to prove that you in fact distribution it. Instead, the law enforcement authorities must use circumstantial evidence such as packaging, weighing scales, and money, to prove intent to distribute or sell.
If the amount of marijuana in your possession was half an ounce or less, then you will face a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine or $2,500 or both. If the amount is more than half an ounce but less than 5 pounds, then you will face a Class 5 felony charge, which comes with a penalty of up to $2,500 or up to 10 years in jail. Possession of over 5 pounds of marijuana in Richmond VA is a felony, which carries a prison term of 5 to 30 years.
Have you been accused of possession of marijuana in Richmond Va? The lawyers at Weiland Upton regularly and successfully defend clients charged with possession of marijuana and can help you. Call us at 804.355.8037 or contact us online.
Growing and manufacturing marijuana derivatives such as Cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil are felonies in Richmond, VA. Both crimes are charged separately, and they are punishable by a prison term of 5 to 30 years or a maximum fine of $10,000. Also, you should note that Virginia applies a three strike rule when it comes to the distribution of marijuana. If you are arrested, charged and convicted of a marijuana-related felony for the 3rd time, then you can end up spending life in prison. All penalties related to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, come with driver’s license suspension.
Distributing or selling marijuana-related paraphernalia is also a criminal offense in Richmond VA. Regardless of the amount in your possession, distribution of marijuana paraphernalia is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. Distributing marijuana paraphernalia to minors is a felony that carries a jail term of 12 months and a maximum fine of $2,500. Once you have been arrested and charged with growing, selling or distribution of marijuana, you should contact a Richmond VA possession of marijuana attorney immediately. The criminal defense attorneys at Weiland Upton will evaluate your case and then advise you accordingly.
Deferred Prosecution For Possession of Marijuana
Similar to other states in the country, Virginia offers a first offender program to some individuals who have been charged with possession, distribution or sale of marijuana. The first offender program is designed to rehabilitate the individual, instead of punishing them. Also known as deferred prosecution or 251 disposition, the first offender program includes education programs, probation, drug tests, community programs as well as therapy in some situations. However, this program is only applicable to people who have been arrested and charged with marijuana-related offenses for the first time. To qualify for this program, you must enter a no-contest plea or plead guilty to the charges you are facing. The first offender program comes with the following conditions.
- Successfully complete an education or a treatment program or service, as prescribed by the court.
- Remain alcohol and drug-free during the entire probation period. Also, you must to regular drug and alcohol tests to prove this.
- Complete 24 hours of community service for a misdemeanor or at least 100 hours for a felony.
- Pay part or all the costs related to the program, depending on the individual’s financial capabilities. You will be required to pay costs related to screening, testing, treatment, and assessment.
As part of the program, you must also make considerable efforts to secure and maintain employment during the probation period. And if the court doesn’t suspend your driver’s license as a condition for your probation, then you will be required to complete an additional 50 hours of community service. Once you’ve completed this program successfully, the court will dismiss the charges you are facing. However, dismissal of charges doesn’t mean that they have been expunged from your records. They will still show up whenever someone runs a background check on you. If you fail to complete the program or violate any of the term or condition set out by the judge, you automatically become guilty of the offense that you were charged with, and the penalties will apply. Besides that, you will face a permanent ban from ever participating in the program again.
Experienced Richmond Va Possession of Marijuana Attorneys
Sale, distribution, and possession of marijuana are serious criminal offenses in Richmond County and throughout Virginia. And a conviction can negatively affect your life forever. Therefore, if you are facing these charges, then you need to consult a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced Richmond VA possession of marijuana lawyer. The law office of Weiland Upton has defended hundreds of clients who have been charged with various offenses related to marijuana, from sale and possession to distribution. We know that you might be feeling overwhelmed, scared or confused, not knowing how to proceed with the case we are facing. Well, we are here to provide you with the highest level of legal assistance.
Once you reach out to us, we will evaluate your case, and then inform you on how best to proceed. Having handled several marijuana-related cases before, we have the experience necessary to handle whatever charges you might be facing. We will also explore various mechanisms and then proceed with the one that will result in a favorable outcome in your case. At our law office, we don’t promise or guarantee any outcome, since every case is unique. However, we can promise you that we will use our knowledge, experience, expertise and all our resources, to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Depending on the facts and the circumstances surrounding your case, we might pursue a dismissal of the charges, a not-guilty verdict or a reduction of the charges. Having an accomplished team of Richmond VA possession of marijuana attorneys can be the difference between a lengthy incarceration and freedom. We use a team approach, drawing upon the strengths, experience and skills of our criminal defense attorneys, to provide a robust defense for you.
Our communication lines are always open, and we will always inform you about any developments in your case. We will also address all your questions and concerns promptly, making sure that everyone is reading from the same page. At Weiland Upton, we strive to make legal representation as smooth, transparent and honest as possible for all our clients. We are committed to protecting your rights, keeping you out of the courtroom and defending you against the criminal charges you are facing.
Contact Us Today
At Weiland Upton, our attorneys are committed to providing legal assistance to individuals facing marijuana-related criminal charges. We understand that facing serious criminal charges such as marijuana possession, sale and distribution can be intimidating. Also, the Virginia criminal justice system is quite complex, which means it’s not easy to navigate. Our defense attorneys have helped thousands of people facing marijuana-related offenses. We are dedicated to helping reduce the emotional and financial burden that comes with facing the law. It’s our passion, our mission and our job, to provide you with the guidance that you need, at such a stressful and confusing time in your life. Contact our office today for a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.
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