9130 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553

Successfully Fighting Drug Possession charges for you in Spotsylvania, Arlington and surrounding Counties in Virginia

What are the Penalties for a Drug Possession Conviction?

If found guilty of drug possession, penalties for a first time offender can include:

    • A maximum ten (10) year prison term for a class 5 felony (cocaine, PCP or heroin)
    • Restitution for property that is damaged, destroyed, or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of methamphetamine production
    • Substance abuse screening and drug tests
    • Assessment treatment and education programs or services
    • A criminal record, which can negatively impact employment opportunities and travel outside of the United States

What are the Penalties for Subsequent Drug Possession Convictions?

In addition to the penalties for first time offenders, a subsequent drug possession conviction can result in dramatically increased penalties, including:

    • A minimum five (5) year term and maximum 40 year penitentiary term for Schedule I or II narcotics
    • A minimum ten (10) year term and maximum 40 year penitentiary term for methamphetamine
    • A maximum fine of $500,000

Under Virginia law, conviction for possession a schedule I or II drug is a felony while the rest are classified as misdemeanors.

Charges of drug distribution, drug manufacturing and/or drug possession with the intent to distribute carry greater penalties than those for simple possession.

What are the Different Schedules of Drug Possession?

In Virginia, drugs are classified by schedules and are assessed accordingly:

  • Schedule I: Opiates & opium derivatives, most hallucinogens and tetrahydrocannabinols such as Cathinone (Khat), GHB (Liquid Ecstasy), Hash Oil, Heroin, LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy), Mescaline (Peyote), Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms).
  • Schedule II: Opium & Opiates; also many central nervous system depressants and stimulants such as Cocaine, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Methamphetamine, Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Kibbles & Bits, Pineapple), Morphine, Oxycodone, Phencyclidine (PCP, Angel Dust), Methadone, Sufentanyl.
  • Schedule III: Some central nervous system depressants (such as barbiturates), Anabolic steroids, Hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin (Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab), Codeine, Ketamine (Special-K).
  • Schedule IV: Prescription drugs such as Alprazolam (Xanax, Niravam), Dextropropoxyphene (Darvon), Diazepam (Valium), Flunitrazepam (Rohyponol, “date rape” drug, roofies), Pentazocine (Talwin), as well as other tranquilizers
  • Schedule V: Cough medicines with codeine
  • Schedule VI: Certain other controlled substances

Under Virginia law, conviction for possession a schedule I or II drug is a felony while the rest are classified as misdemeanors.

Why Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney if charged with Drug Possession in Virginia?

Having the assistance and knowledge of an experienced defense lawyer can greatly increase your chances of avoiding the serious and often lengthy sentences that result from drug-related convictions, including:

  • Developing effective constitutional challenges to arrests, searches and possession issues, which are critical when defending drug-related charges in Virginia.
  • Making the Commonwealth prove the nature of the substance to be an illegal drug or prove the person charged was in “possession” of the drug.
  • Raising doubt about knowledge of the illicit drug.
  • Informing you that simply pleading guilty to quickly resolve your drug charge removes your eligibility for a criminal record expungement of the charge as you must be found not guilty or have the charges withdrawn by Commonwealth (nolle prosequi) to be able to submit a petition for an expungement.

Where plea negotiations are the best course of action, knowledge of the Virginia sentencing guidelines and experienced negotiation skills with prosecutors are essential.

If you are charged with drug possession, check out our proven track record and then contact Susan F. Fremit, P.C., immediately, to set up a free consultation to see how her experience can work for you.

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