Norfolk Drug Laws

Illegal possession or distribution of banned substances is prohibited under drug laws in Norfork. Prohibited substances and illegal drugs, known as controlled substances, include marijuana, heroin, and fentanyl, as listed in Schedules I through V in the Code of Virginia. There are exceptions that enable certain people in Norfork to legally interact with abused drugs. If an individual possesses a valid prescription to treat an illness, sickness, or disease with marijuana, cannabidiol oil, THCA oil, or amphetamines, then that person could legally obtain and use those drugs.

If you have been charged with possessing narcotics, a knowledgeable drug lawyer could help your case. They could explain the Norfolk drug laws, your rights, and legal options.

Penalties for Drug Offense

Certain controlled substances are penalized more harshly than others. Possession of Schedule I or II substances is a class five felony, punishable by serving one to ten years in prison or 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, the distribution of Schedule I or II substances is punished differently depending on the amount and substance distributed. For instance, distribution of 28 grams or more of methamphetamine requires a mandatory minimum sentence of three years imprisonment.

There are also enhanced penalties for possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, 500 grams or more of cocaine, 250 grams of cocaine-based substances, or 10 grams of methamphetamine. Individuals convicted of possession with the intent to distribute the aforementioned substances in those amounts could face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000,000. These drugs carry enhanced penalties they have the greatest potential for addiction or could cause the most damage to communities or the environment.

Drug Court

Local laws or practices can affect the outcome of drug cases. Drug courts and first offender programs are often the most common solutions when a drug charge cannot be resolved without neutral help. Drug court is typically reserved for serious addictions, while first offender programs are available for those who have no prior drug offenses anywhere in the United States.

An individual who enters the first offender program must complete 100 hours of community service and a series of drug testing. If the individual successfully completes the program without acquiring any additional criminal charges during the course of the program, their drug charge will be dismissed.

Medically Approved Narcotics

The legal system in Norfork deals with cases involving medically approved but often abused drugs by allowing people with valid prescriptions to access and use a controlled substance as prescribed, giving those people what is called an affirmative defense. If an individual possesses a drug without a prescription, then they can be charged with illegal possession of a scheduled substance.

Constitutional Issues in Drug Cases

Constitutional issues can occur in Norfork drug cases. The Fourth Amendment is often used in drug charges since drugs are frequently found during traffic stops, while an individual is being frisked by a police officer, or during law enforcement’s execution of a search warrant of someone’s home or vehicle.

The usage of the Fourth Amendment is especially frequent in cases where drugs are found during traffic stops. Often, an individual being stopped due to a broken taillight could turn into a full-fledged drug investigation because a police officer happened to be nearby with a drug-sniffing dog.

K-9 units are especially rich areas for Fourth Amendment issues because the dog’s sniff can unconstitutionally prolong a stop and lead to after-discovered evidence being thrown out.

How a Drug Lawyer Could Help

Drug crimes in Norfork are increasingly being treated as a behavioral issue rather than a moral failing. Rehabilitative measures and treatment are being emphasized, as opposed to punishment and legal repercussions. A skilled drug attorney who deals with cases involving narcotic offenses will know the different treatment options available, such as designated drug courts, a first offender program, or in-patient or outpatient facilities.

Speak to a seasoned attorney to learn about how Norfolk drug laws could affect your case. Call today to schedule a consultation.