While many states are making medical marijuana, and in some cases recreational marijuana, legal—possession of even a small amount of this drug is a serious offense in Virginia. If convicted, you could face harsh penalties, which include a permanent criminal record. Because of this, you cannot afford to just plead guilty or try to negotiate your own plea agreement. You need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges that you face.
What Are Common Marijuana Offenses That You Could Be Charged With Committing in Virginia?
Even a first-time conviction for possession of a minor amount of marijuana would be a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by jail time and fines. In addition, your driver’s license would be automatically suspended for six months for any conviction. Here are the common charges that you could face:
- First offense possession. It is illegal to knowingly and intentionally possess any amount of marijuana. Possession with no evidence of distribution would generally be charged as simple possession. A first offense is a Class U misdemeanor, which is an unclassified misdemeanor, and the possible penalties include 30 days in jail and a fine of $500.
- Second offense possession. If this is a second offense, the charge would be a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is more serious than a Class U offense. The penalties are much harsher, too—up to 12 months in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,500.
- Possession with intent to deliver. If you are in possession of less than one-half of an ounce of marijuana, you could be charged with possession with intent to deliver, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor with the same penalties as a second offense possession. Possession of between one-half ounce and five pounds is a Class 5 felony with a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $2,500.
Have you been charged with a marijuana drug offense? Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to help you build a strong defense to the charges you face so that they are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. To get started, fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation.