Suffolk Drug Lawyer

Every drug charge in the State of Virginia is a serious criminal offense that could carry serious consequences. While some of these charges are misdemeanors, many are felonies under the law. In either case, a conviction could cost you. A practiced Suffolk drug lawyer could provide you with helpful guidance during your case. A skilled criminal defense attorney could advocate on your behalf which could improve your chances of a favorable outcome in your case.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a controlled substance is the lowest level of drug crime, but it is also one of the most commonly prosecuted offenses. The crime of possession for any controlled substance outside of marijuana is governed by Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250. Possessing any controlled substance falls under this statute regardless of that person’s intent. However, there are some limited exceptions, including law enforcement officers that obtain controlled substances as part of their official duties. A valid prescription is also a defense in these cases.

The penalties for a conviction under this statute depend on the specific substance a person possesses. Each controlled substance falls into one of six categories, known as drug schedules. Schedule 1 drugs are the most addictive and carry the steepest penalties. On the other end of the sentencing spectrum, Schedule 6 drugs have the least-severe penalties. That does not mean possessing a Schedule 6 substance does not have severe consequences.

Possession of schedule 1 or 2 drugs is treated as a Class 5 felony, which carries up to 10 years in state prison and a $2,500 fine. Possession charges for Schedules 3 through 6 are all treated as misdemeanors. Possessing a schedule 3 substance is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail. Possessing schedule IV drugs are charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor, which carries as many as 180 days in jail. Lower-level possession charges will not result in jail time, as only fines are applicable to possession of Class 5 or 6 substances.

Possession of Marijuana

Marijuana is treated differently than all other possession charges. Governed by the Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250.1, it is a crime to knowingly possess marijuana without a doctor’s prescription. A possession case must involve evidence of possessing marijuana directly, as there is case law that has found merely having marijuana in a person’s home or vehicle is not possession under the statute. The statute sets the penalties for possession of marijuana as a maximum fine of $500 and a jail sentence not to exceed 30 days. A diligent Suffolk attorney could help a person charged with drug possession fight back against these charges.

Manufacturing or Distribution

A person’s intent is important when they are accused of possessing a controlled substance. While the penalties for possession can be steep, possessing drugs with the intent to manufacture or sell them carries much tougher penalties in many cases. Possession with the intent to distribute is governed by Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248. Under this statute, possessing a Schedule 1 or 2 drug with the intention of selling it could lead to as much as 40 years in prison. A knowledgeable Suffolk attorney could help someone facing drug charges not only fight a conviction but also advocate for a reduction in charges.

Work with a Suffolk Drug Attorney Today

It is important to speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following a charge or arrest. An experienced attorney could review the facts of your case and help you build the strongest defense possible. With the help of a Suffolk drug lawyer, you may be able to avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction. Call today to discuss your rights and get started building your defense.