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Marijuana possession and other drug offenses are punishable as criminal offenses in Virginia, and can therefore result in permanent criminal records, as well as fines, probation, and jail. If you have been charged with a marijuana or other drug offense, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your case and determine your best course of action.

In Virginia, it is unlawful to possess marijuana or other drugs without a valid prescription. If you have been charged with a drug offense, the "code section" listing the appropriate part of the Virginia Code will appear on your summons or warrant.

Possession of Marijuana

Pursuant to Virginia Code § 18.2-250.1, it is unlawful for any person to possess marijuana unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription. The penalty for possession is:
First Offense: Confinement in jail for up to 30 days, and fine of up to $500. Loss of driver’s license for six months.
Second and Subsequent Offense: Confinement in jail for up to 12 months, and fine of up to $2,500. Loss of driver’s license for six months.

In those cases where the court find compelling circumstances, it can grant the offender a restricted license to drive to and from work and for other specific purposes.

In appropriate cases, Court may be willing to place the first-time offenders in a “first offender program.” Such offenders will be placed on probation, ordered to attend n evaluation for substance abuse, and comply with terms of the program. The court may also require the offender to fulill other terms like community service. If the offender completes all of these terms, the Court may choose to dismiss the charge, which will prevent the offender from having a conviction on his criminal record.

Possession of Prescription Drugs

Pursuant to Virginia Code § 18.2-250, it is unlawful for a person to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription. The penalty for possession is based on the definition (“Schedule”) of the substance in the Drug Control Act. Many prescription medications are listed on Schedule I or Schedule II. The penalty for possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II is a Class 5 felony. This penalty is:
  • One year to ten years in prison, or up to 12 months in jail
  • $2,500 fine
  • Loss of driver’s license for six months.

Possession of Illegal Drugs

Pursuant to Virginia Code § 18.2-250, it is unlawful for a person to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription. The penalty for possession is based on the definition (“Schedule”) of the substance in the Drug Control Act. Many illegal drugs, like psilocybin mushrooms, cocaine, and methamphetamine are listed on Schedule I or Schedule II. The penalty for possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II is a Class 5 felony. This penalty is:
  • One year to ten years in prison, or up to 12 months in jail
  • $2,500 fine
  • Loss of driver’s license for six months.
  • Marijuana and Other Drug Offense Cases in Court

    In Court, the Commonwealth (state) presents its side first, and will present evidence of the crime. This will usually be the officer's testimony, and may also include additional evidence like witnesses, photos, and lab certificates. The defendant who was charged will then have an opportunity to testify and present any other evidence. The Court will rule at the end of the evidence, and in misdemeanor cases typically does so immediately. If the defendant is acquitted - found not guilty - then he will receive no punishment. If he is convicted - found guilty -- the defendant will be sentenced after the Court has had a chance to review the defendant's criminal record and any other relevant evidence. The sentence can include any of the penalties available to the court.

    Contact Us

    If you are facing criminal allegations, we are prepared to stand up for your rights. Call us today at (434) 972-9600 or contact us online.


Davidson and Kitzmann, PLC
211 E. High Street
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Tel: (434) 972-9600
Fax: (434) 220-0011
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Charlottesville Lawyers

Disclaimer

We are a Charlottesville, Va law firm, but our lawyers handle cases in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Greene County, Fluvanna County, Louisa County, Nelson County, Madison County, Orange County, Richmond, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County, and across Virginia.

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