Newport News Marijuana Possession Lawyer

Although it may seem like a minor offense, a conviction for marijuana possession in Newport News can have long lasting consequences that impact your life for many years to come. For this reason, it is important you put your best foot forward in building a defense and consult with a Newport News marijuana possession lawyer as soon as possible. A drug lawyer in Newport News will be able to look at the facts surrounding your case and help you minimize the harm of your offense as much as possible. Call today to learn more.

How Marijuana Charges Are Treated

Marijuana is separate from other drugs in Newport News and it has its own statutes and penalties. For marijuana cases, there won’t be a prosecutor at all while for other drugs there always will be a prosecutor. Marijuana cases are handled by the police officers in Newport News and whoever the officer was that issued the summons to the defendant will be the one present on the other side.

Marijuana cases are misdemeanors typically, while possession of other controlled substances are generally felonies, unless we’re talking about large quantities of marijuana. Felonies in general have much harsher consequences, such as possible prison time. Even though it’s just marijuana, it’s still very serious and the penalties can have a very drastic effect on someone’s life. The court treats these cases very seriously, so it’s definitely important to make sure that you have a Newport News marijuana possession attorney on your side helping you out.

Does the Decriminalization of Marijuana in Other Jurisdictions Impact How it’s Charged in Newport News?

While it’s very likely that marijuana will be decriminalized in Virginia in the future, Newport News is still very stubborn about enforcing marijuana laws. Sometimes there are mitigating factors that can help, such as getting the defendant to go through a treatment program or participating in community service. These actions sometimes are convincing enough to get a judge to amend the possession charge to a paraphernalia charge which carries less serious penalties than possession.

This is not always the case with other drug charges and it tends to be a little bit more unique to marijuana cases. It’s hard to say whether this is because it’s been decriminalized in nearby jurisdictions or if judges just see marijuana and the statutes as a less serious level of controlled substance.

Building a Defense For Marijuana Possession

Defending marijuana cases is different from other drug cases because possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor. This means that the case will be heard in general district court in front of a judge and will be handled by a police officer rather than a prosecutor.

In general, misdemeanor cases are a lot less serious than felony cases and the procedure followed in court is more laid back. Because of this, there are more options available in terms of a Newport News marijuana possession lawyer negotiating the outcome of the case. A lot of times, judges will be more open to alternate sentencing possibilities, whereas with harder and more serious drugs, they won’t entertain the idea.

Long Term Implications

The biggest long-term implication is that someone convicted of a marijuana possession charge will have a misdemeanor drug charge on their criminal record forever. This can get in the way of obtaining certain types of employment and in general just doesn’t look good even if it doesn’t have an effect on your employment. There’s stigma attached to marijuana and drug charges in general, regardless of the type.

Another long-term inconvenience is that with a conviction comes a mandatory license suspension which is for at least six months.

Is There More Leniency From a Judge or Jury For Marijuana?

Because marijuana has its own set of penalties, the consequences are more lenient than for other controlled substances due to the statute requirements alone. Judges in Newport News closely adhere to statutes. Juries are a little bit more of a wild card. Typically however, juries are notorious for coming down harder with sentencing in most cases than judges are.

What Everyone Should Know About Marijuana Charges in Newport News

Everyone should know that even the smallest residue of substance is enough for someone to be convicted. Cases dealing with smaller amounts won’t necessarily persuade a judge to dismiss or reduce the charge only based on there being a smaller amount. There needs to be additional evidence in order to persuade a judge to reduce the charge. The best way to have this type of charge dismissed is when there’s reasonable doubt about the possession of marijuana, regardless of the amount, or to provide mitigating evidence to persuade a judge to give a defendant a second chance.

There are more options available than just accepting a conviction for possession, and the best way to know what is available and possible is to hire a Newport News marijuana possession attorney.