Portsmouth Drug Lawyer

Penalties for drug charges in Virginia vary greatly depending upon the type of drug, the amount of drugs, and whether or not you have prior drug convictions. Overall, this makes Virginia drug laws quite harsh. However, a skilled Portsmouth drug lawyer can help you deal with the charges you are facing and provide you with a full assessment of your case. Therefore if you have been accused of a drug crime contact a criminal lawyer in Virginia today.

Benefits of Working with a Drug Attorney in Portsmouth

Drug Lawyer in Portsmouth VACharges involving controlled substances can be very difficult both to defend and prosecute.  They usually involve evidence of many different types, including eyewitness testimony, which is notoriously subjective and hard to verify. An experienced Portsmouth drug lawyer will understand how to exploit these weak links when it comes to crafting an effective defense strategy and implementing that strategy in court.

The Portsmouth drug lawyers at our firm are dedicated advocates and defenders, ready to work hard in an effort to attain the best possible results given the circumstances of your case.  If you’d like to learn how specifically we can assist you, call a drug lawyer in Portsmouth today and ask about your free initial consultation.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Virginia Code Section 18.2-250 states that it is unlawful to possess a controlled substance. For a conviction, the state must prove 3 key factors:

  • That the person possessed a controlled substance,
  • The person possessed it knowingly,
  • And the person did not have a prescription for it [VA Code 18.2-250].

Controlled substances refer to substances that have a high potential for abuse and have no medical use, as well as substances that have a high potential for abuse and do have a medical use but are highly restricted (for instance, prescription drugs) [VA Code 54.1-3401]. However, this section of the Virginia Code does not include possession of marijuana, which is a different charge.

Possession of a controlled substance is a Class 5 felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, or, at the discretion of a judge or jury, a jail sentence up to 12 months, a fine up to $2,500, or both [VA Code 18.2-10].

Possession of Marijuana

In Virginia, it is illegal to possess marijuana without a valid prescription [VA Code 18.2-250.1]. Punishment for a conviction of possession of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor, is a jail sentence up to 30 days and a fine not to exceed $500 [VA Code 18.2-250.1]. A second conviction for this offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $2,500, or both [VA Code 18.2-250.1].

First Time Drug Offenses

Drug Attorney in Portsmouth VAAs a Portsmouth drug lawyer can tell you, whether a drug charge is your first offense or not is a significant factor in the consequences you will likely face. A provision of the Virginia law provides that for a first offense of either possession of a controlled substance or possession of marijuana, upon consent of both the court and the individual, the individual can get probation in lieu of jail time as long as he/she adheres to the probation conditions, which may include community service hours, substance abuse treatment, and drug testing [VA Code 18.2-251].

Sale and Distribution of Drugs

Charges involving the sale of drugs or the intent to sell drugs are much more complicated with more severe penalties. A criminal charge for selling, distributing, or possessing with the intent to sell the controlled substances as defined above (except for methamphetamines) is a felony punishable by 5 to 40 years imprisonment and a fine up to $500,000 [VA Code 18.2-248]. A second conviction will subject individuals to another felony punishable by 5 years to life in prison with a mandatory 3 years imprisonment [VA Code 18.2-248].

However, enhanced penalties apply for the sale or intent to sell of certain drugs in particular detectable amounts, including: 100 or more grams of heroin, 500 or more grams of cocaine, 250 grams or more of crack, and 20 or more grams of methamphetamines [VA Code 18.2-248]. Penalties include 5 years to life in prison and a fine up to $1 million [VA Code 18.2-248].

A Portsmouth Drug Lawyer Can Help

You do not have to face your drug charge alone. A Portsmouth drug lawyer well-versed in this area of law will work with you to assess the scope of the charges against you and advise you of your options to best plan for your day in court. Start today by getting your free consultation.