Updated on: 8:42 am

Virginia Possession Marijuana Drug Penalties Defense Laws Lawyers Cocaine

Updated on: 8:42 am

VIRGINIA DRUG POSSESSION DEFENSE LAWYERS

DEFENDING DRUG CHARGES IN VIRGINIA STATE & VIRGINIA FEDERAL COURTS

In Virginia, the illicit possession of controlled substance is illegal. This is a serious offense that carries life changing consequences. The Virginia law offices of SRIS, P.C. have a number of excellent Virginia drug defense attorneys & Virginia possession of controlled substance defense lawyers in its offices in Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Manassas, Richmond, and Virginia Beach. Our Virginia drug attorneys and staff speak various languages, including English, Tamil, Spanish, French, Hindi, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Telugu. For more information or to make an appointment with SRIS, P.C. drug defense lawyer, please call, 888-437-7747



FAIRFAX :

4008 Williamsburg Court
Fairfax, Virginia 22032
Phone: (703) 278-0405



RICHMOND :

7400 Beaufont Springs Drive, Suite 300
Richmond, Virginia 23225
Phone: (804) 201-9009



MANASSAS :

8551 Sudley Road
Manassas, Virginia 20110
Phone: (703) 278-0405


VIRGINIA BEACH :

1 Columbus center, Suite 600
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
Phone: (757) 512-5002



LYNCHBURG : 

3831 Old Forest Road, Suite 6
Lynchburg, Virginia 24501
Phone: (434) 509-4004

To obtain a general overview of criminal drug defense, please click here To learn more about the laws pertaining to criminal drug defense in Maryland, please click on the state.

The following are some of the different types of Virginia drug charges one could face in the Commonwealth of Virginia:

  • Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes permitted
  • Distribution of certain drugs to persons under 18 prohibited; penalty
  • Distribution, sale or display of printed material advertising instruments for use in administering marijuana or controlled substances to minors; penalty
  • Prohibiting the sale of drugs on or near certain properties
  • Possession of firearms while in possession of certain controlled substances
  • Manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, give or distribute a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance prohibited; penalties
  • Possession of controlled substances unlawful
  • Possession of marijuana unlawful

There are many different types of drug laws in Virginia. For example, a person in Virginia can be charged with simple possession of a drug, which can cause a person to be charged with either misdemeanor possession of a drug or felony possession of a drug. A person can also be charged with possession with intent to distribute an illegal substance. This too can result in a misdemeanor possession with intent charge or a felony possession with intent to charge. However, this type of an offense could result in the judge imposing a much harsher sentence. Simply because someone is charged with a Virginia drug offensedoes not mean that they are going to be convicted as charged. The drug charge could be dismissed if the facts are such that the Virginia Commonwealth attorney decides that they will not prevail at trial or there are some compelling reasons as to why the Virginia Commonwealth attorney should not pursue prosecution of the charge. There are also different plea bargain option available to the client if certain facts are present and the attorney handling the matter is skilled at negotiating a good plea bargain. As always, there is the option of going to trial and proving one’s innocence at trial. However, this option should be considered as a last resort as there are no guarantees as to the outcome of the case at trial, unless one has absolutely no other options available or one is certain as to the outcome of one’s case. Only the client can ultimately decide what is best for themselves. A good Virginia drug lawyer will lay out the different options and then the client will have to decide how to proceed. A Virginia drug charge can be charged as nothing more than a class 4 misdemeanor. This would still be a criminal charge. However, a Virginia drug charge could be charged as a felony as well. This would have much more serious consequences if a person were to be convicted of this resulting from a very lengthy probation to a lengthy period of incarceration. See Virginia Code Section 18.2-10 and 18.2-11.

Virginia Drug Code § 18.2-251.1. Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes permitted (top)

A. No person shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-250 or § 18.2-250.1 for the possession of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol when that possession occurs pursuant to a valid prescription issued by a medical doctor in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma. B. No medical doctor shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-248 or § 18.2-248.1 for dispensing or distributing marijuanaor tetrahydrocannabinol for medical purposes when such action occurs in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma. C. No pharmacist shall be prosecuted under §§ 18.2-248 to 18.2-248.1 for dispensing or distributing marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol to any person who holds a valid prescription of a medical doctor for such substance issued in the course of such doctor’s professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma.

Virginia Drug Code § 18.2-255. Distribution of certain drugs to persons under 18 prohibited; penalty (top)

A. Except as authorized in the Drug Control Act, Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1, it shall be unlawful for any person who is at least 18 years of age to knowingly or intentionally (i) distribute any drug classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV or marijuana to any person under 18 years of age who is at least three years his junior or (ii) cause any person under 18 years of age to assist in such distribution of any drug classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV or marijuana. Any person violating this provision shall upon conviction be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a period not less than 10 nor more than 50 years, and fined not more than $100,000. Five years of the sentence imposed for a conviction under this section involving a Schedule I or II controlled substance or one ounce or more of marijuana shall be a mandatory minimum sentence. Two years of the sentence imposed for a conviction under this section involving less than one ounce of marijuana shall be a mandatory minimum sentence. B. It shall be unlawful for any person who is at least 18 years of age to knowingly or intentionally (i) distribute any imitation controlled substance to a person under 18 years of age who is at least three years his junior or (ii) cause any person under 18 years of age to assist in such distribution of any imitation controlled substance. Any person violating this provision shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

VA Drug Code § 18.2-255.1. Distribution, sale or display of printed material advertising instruments for use in administering marijuana or controlled substances to minors; penalty (top)

It shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person knowingly to sell, distribute, or display for sale to a minor any book, pamphlet, periodical or other printed matter which he knows advertises for sale any instrument, device, article, or contrivance for advertised use in unlawfully ingesting, smoking, administering, preparing or growing marijuana or a controlled substance. § 18.2-265.1. Definition As used in this article, the term “drug paraphernalia” means all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are either designed for use or which are intended by the person charged with violating § 18.2-265.3 for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, strength testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body marijuana or a controlled substance. It includes, but is not limited to: 1. Kits intended for use or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing or harvesting of marijuana or any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived; 2. Kits intended for use or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing marijuana or controlled substances; 3. Isomerization devices intended for use or designed for use in increasing the potency of marijuana or any species of plant which is a controlled substance; 4. Testing equipment intended for use or designed for use in identifying or in analyzing the strength or effectiveness of marijuana or controlled substances; 5. Scales and balances intended for use or designed for use in weighing or measuring marijuana or controlled substances; 6. Diluents and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, or mannite, intended for use or designed for use in cutting controlled substances; 7. Separation gins and sifters intended for use or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining, marijuana; 8. Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons, and mixing devices intended for use or designed for use in compounding controlled substances; 9. Capsules, balloons, envelopes, and other containers intended for use or designed for use in packaging small quantities of marijuana or controlled substances; 10. Containers and other objects intended for use or designed for use in storing or concealing marijuana or controlled substances; 11. Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects intended for use or designed for use in parenterally injecting controlled substances into the human body; 12. Objects intended for use or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body, such as: a. Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls; b. Water pipes; c. Carburetion tubes and devices; d. Smoking and carburetion masks; e. Roach clips, meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a marijuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand; f. Miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials; g. Chamber pipes; h. Carburetor pipes; i. Electric pipes; j. Air-driven pipes; k. Chillums; l. Bongs; m. Ice pipes or chillers.

Virginia Drug Code § 18.2-255.2. Prohibiting the sale of drugs on or near certain properties (top)

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell or distribute or possess with intent to sell, give or distribute any controlled substance, imitation controlled substance or marijuana while (i) upon the property, including buildings and grounds, of any public or private elementary, secondary, or post secondary school, or any public or private two-year or four-year institution of higher education; (ii) upon public property or any property open to public use within 1,000 feet of such school property; (iii) on any school bus as defined in § 46.2-100; (iv) upon a designated school bus stop, or upon either public property or any property open to public use which is within 1,000 feet of such school bus stop, during the time when school children are waiting to be picked up and transported to or are being dropped off from school or a school-sponsored activity; (v) upon the property, including buildings and grounds, of any publicly owned or publicly operated recreation or community center facility or any public library; or (vi) upon the property of any state facility as defined in § 37.2-100 or upon public property or property open to public use within 1,000 feet of such an institution. It is a violation of the provisions of this section if the person possessed the controlled substance, imitation controlled substance or marijuana on the property described in clauses (i) through (vi) of this subsection, regardless of where the person intended to sell, give or distribute the controlled substance, imitation controlled substance or marijuana. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the authorized distribution of controlled substances. B. Violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct felony. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be imprisoned for a term of not less than one year nor more than five years and fined not more than $100,000. A second or subsequent conviction hereunder for an offense involving a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III of the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) or more than one-half ounce of marijuana shall be punished by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year to be served consecutively with any other sentence. However, if such person proves that he sold such controlled substance or marijuana only as an accommodation to another individual and not with intent to profit thereby from any consideration received or expected nor to induce the recipient or intended recipient of the controlled substance or marijuana to use or become addicted to or dependent upon such controlled substance or marijuana, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. C. If a person commits an act violating the provisions of this section, and the same act also violates another provision of law that provides for penalties greater than those provided for by this section, then nothing in this section shall prohibit or bar any prosecution or proceeding under that other provision of law or the imposition of any penalties provided for thereby.

Virginia Drug Code § 18.2-308.4. Possession of firearms while in possession of certain controlled substances (top)

A. It shall be unlawful for any person unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 to simultaneously with knowledge and intent possess any firearm. A violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony and constitutes a separate and distinct felony. B. It shall be unlawful for any person unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1- 3400 et seq.) to simultaneously with knowledge and intent possess any firearm on or about his person. A violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony and constitutes a separate and distinct felony and any person convicted hereunder shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years. Such punishment shall be separate and apart from, and shall be made to run consecutively with, any punishment received for the commission of the primary felony. C. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, use, or attempt to use any pistol, shotgun, rifle, or other firearm or display such weapon in a threatening manner while committing or attempting to commit the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, or the possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or Schedule II of the Drug ControlAct (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 or more than one pound of marijuana. A violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony, and constitutes a separate and distinct felony and any person convicted hereunder shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. Such punishment shall be separate and apart from, and shall be made to run consecutively with, any punishment received for the commission of the primary felony.

Virginia Drug Code § 18.2-248. Manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, give or distribute a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance prohibited; penalties (top)

A. Except as authorized in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, give, distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture, sell, give or distribute a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance. B. In determining whether any person intends to manufacture, sell, give or distribute an imitation controlled substance, the court may consider, in addition to all other relevant evidence, whether any distribution or attempted distribution of such pill, capsule, tablet or substance in any other form whatsoever included an exchange of or a demand for money or other property as consideration, and, if so, whether the amount of such consideration was substantially greater than the reasonable value of such pill, capsule, tablet or substance in any other form whatsoever, considering the actual chemical composition of such pill, capsule, tablet or substance in any other form whatsoever and, where applicable, the price at which over-the-counter substances of like chemical composition sell. C. Except as provided in subsection C1, any person who violates this section with respect to a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II shall upon conviction be imprisoned for not less than five nor more than 40 years and fined not more than $500,000. Upon a second or subsequent conviction of such a violation, any such person may, in the discretion of the court or jury imposing the sentence, be sentenced to imprisonment for life or for any period not less than five years and be fined not more than $500,000. When a person is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under this subsection and it is alleged in the warrant, indictment or information that he has been before convicted of two or more such offenses or of substantially similar offenses in any other jurisdiction which offenses would be felonies if committed in the Commonwealth and such prior convictions occurred before the date of the offense alleged in the warrant, indictment, or information, he shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than five years, three years of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment to be served consecutively with any other sentence and he shall be fined not more than $500,000. C1. Any person who violates this section with respect to the manufacturing of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers or less than 200 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers shall, upon conviction, be imprisoned for not less than 10 nor more than 40 years and fined not more than $500,000. Upon a second conviction of such a violation, any such person may, in the discretion of the court or jury imposing the sentence, be sentenced to imprisonment for life or for any period not less than 10 years, and be fined not more than $500,000. When a person is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under this subsection and it is alleged in the warrant, indictment, or information that he has been previously convicted of two or more such offenses or of substantially similar offenses in any other jurisdiction, which offenses would be felonies if committed in the Commonwealth and such prior convictions occurred before the date of the offense alleged in the warrant, indictment, or information, he shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life or for a period not less than 10 years, three years of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment to be served consecutively with any other sentence and he shall be fined not more than $500,000. Upon conviction, in addition to any other punishment, a person found guilty of this offense shall be ordered by the court to make restitution, as the court deems appropriate, to any innocent property owner whose property is damaged, destroyed, or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of such methamphetamine production. This restitution may include the person’s or his estate’s estimated or actual expenses associated with cleanup, removal, or repair of the affected property. D. If such person proves that he gave, distributed or possessed with intent to give or distribute a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II only as an accommodation to another individual who is not an inmate in a community correctional facility, local correctional facility or state correctional facility as defined in § 53.1-1 or in the custody of an employee thereof, and not with intent to profit thereby from any consideration received or expected nor to induce the recipient or intended recipient of the controlled substance to use or become addicted to or dependent upon such controlled substance, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. E. If the violation of the provisions of this article consists of the filling by a pharmacist of the prescription of a person authorized under this article to issue the same, which prescription has not been received in writing by the pharmacist prior to the filling thereof, and such written prescription is in fact received by the pharmacist within one week of the time of filling the same, or if such violation consists of a request by such authorized person for the filling by a pharmacist of a prescription which has not been received in writing by the pharmacist and such prescription is, in fact, written at the time of such request and delivered to the pharmacist within one week thereof, either such offense shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor. E1. Any person who violates this section with respect to a controlled substance classified in Schedule III except for an anabolic steroid classified in Schedule III, constituting a violation of § 18.2-248.5, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. E2. Any person who violates this section with respect to a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. E3. Any person who proves that he gave, distributed or possessed with the intent to give or distribute a controlled substance classified in Schedule III or IV, except for an anabolic steroid classified in Schedule III, constituting a violation of § 18.2-248.5, only as an accommodation to another individual who is not an inmate in a community correctional facility, local correctional facility or state correctional facility as defined in § 53.1-1 or in the custody of an employee thereof, and not with the intent to profit thereby from any consideration received or expected nor to induce the recipient or intended recipient of the controlled substance to use or become addicted to or dependent upon such controlled substance, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. F. Any person who violates this section with respect to a controlled substance classified in Schedule V or an imitation controlled substance which imitates a controlled substance classified in Schedule V, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. G. Any person who violates this section with respect to an imitation controlled substance which imitates a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. In any prosecution brought under this subsection, it is not a defense to a violation of this subsection that the defendant believed the imitation controlled substance to actually be a controlled substance. H. Any person who manufactures, sells, gives, distributes or possesses with the intent to manufacture, sell, give or distribute the following: 1. 1.0 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin; 2. 5.0 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of: a. Coca leaves, except coca leaves and extracts of coca leaves from which cocaine, ecgonine, and derivatives of ecgonine or their salts have been removed; b. Cocaine, its salts, optical and geometric isomers, and salts of isomers; c. Ecgonine, its derivatives, their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers; or d. Any compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of any of the substances referred to in subdivisions a through c; 3. 2.5 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance described in subdivision 2 which contains cocaine base; 4. 100 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana; or 5. 100 grams or more of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers or 200 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $1 million and imprisonment for 20 years to life, 20 years of which shall be a mandatory minimum sentence. Such mandatory minimum sentence shall not be applicable if the court finds that (i) the person does not have a prior conviction for an offense listed in subsection C of § 17.1-805; (ii) the person did not use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon in connection with the offense or induce another participant in the offense to do so; (iii) the offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury to any person; (iv) the person was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense, and was not engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise as defined in subsection I of this section; and (v) not later than the time of the sentencing hearing, the person has truthfully provided to the Commonwealth all information and evidence the person has concerning the offense or offenses that were part of the same course of conduct or of a common scheme or plan, but the fact that the person has no relevant or useful other information to provide or that the Commonwealth already is aware of the information shall not preclude a determination by the court that the defendant has complied with this requirement. H1. Any person who was the principal or one of several principal administrators, organizers or leaders of a continuing criminal enterprise shall be guilty of a felony if (i) the enterprise received at least $100,000 but less than $250,000 in gross receipts during any 12-month period of its existence from the manufacture, importation, or distribution of heroin or cocaine or ecgonine or methamphetamine or the derivatives, salts, isomers, or salts of isomers thereof or marijuana or (ii) the person engaged in the enterprise to manufacture, sell, give, distribute or possess with the intent to manufacture, sell, give or distribute the following during any 12-month period of its existence: 1. At least 1.0 kilograms but less than 5.0 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin; 2. At least 5.0 kilograms but less than 10 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of: a. Coca leaves, except coca leaves and extracts of coca leaves from which cocaine, ecgonine, and derivatives of ecgonine or their salts have been removed; b. Cocaine, its salts, optical and geometric isomers, and salts of isomers; c. Ecgonine, its derivatives, their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers; or d. Any compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of any of the substances referred to in subdivisions a through c; 3. At least 2.5 kilograms but less than 5.0 kilograms of a mixture or substance described in subdivision 2 which contains cocaine base; 4. At least 100 kilograms but less than 250 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana; or 5. At least 100 grams but less than 250 grams of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers or at least 200 grams but less than 1.0 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers. A conviction under this section shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1 million and imprisonment for 20 years to life, 20 years of which shall be a mandatory minimum sentence. H2. Any person who was the principal or one of several principal administrators, organizers or leaders of a continuing criminal enterprise if (i) the enterprise received $250,000 or more in gross receipts during any 12- month period of its existence from the manufacture, importation, or distribution of heroin or cocaine or ecgonine or methamphetamine or the derivatives, salts, isomers, or salts of isomers thereof or marijuana or (ii) the person engaged in the enterprise to manufacture, sell, give, distribute or possess with the intent to manufacture, sell, give or distribute the following during any 12-month period of its existence: 1. At least 5.0 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin; 2. At least 10 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of: a. Coca leaves, except coca leaves and extracts of coca leaves from which cocaine, ecgonine, and derivatives of ecgonine or their salts have been removed; b. Cocaine, its salts, optical and geometric isomers, and salts of isomers; c. Ecgonine, its derivatives, their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers; or d. Any compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of any of the substances referred to in subdivisions a through c; 3. At least 5.0 kilograms of a mixture or substance described in subdivision 2 which contains cocaine base; 4. At least 250 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana; o 5. At least 250 grams of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers or at least 1.0 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $1 million and imprisonment for life, which shall be served with no suspension in whole or in part. Such punishment shall be made to run consecutively with any other sentence. However, the court may impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 40 years if the court finds that the defendant substantially cooperated with law-enforcement authorities. I. For purposes of this section, a person is engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise if (i) he violates any provision of this section, the punishment for which is a felony and either (ii) such violation is a part of a continuing series of violations of this section which are undertaken by such person in concert with five or more other persons with respect to whom such person occupies a position of organizer, a supervisory position, or any other position of management, and from which such person obtains substantial income or resources or (iii) such violation is committed, with respect to methamphetamine or other controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II, for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang as defined in § 18.2-46.1. J. Except as authorized in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), any person who possesses any two or more different substances listed below with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, methcathinone or amphetamine is guilty of a Class 6 felony: liquefied ammonia gas, ether, hypophosphorus acid solutions, hypophosphite salts, hydrochloric acid, iodine crystals or tincture of iodine, phenylacetone, phenylacetic acid, red phosphorus, methylamine, methyl formamide, lithium metal, sodium metal, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, potassium dichromate, sodium dichromate, potassium permanganate, chromium trioxide, methylbenzene, methamphetamine precursor drugs, trichloroethane, or 2-propanone. K. The term “methamphetamine precursor drug,” when used in this article, means a drug or product containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine or any of their salts, optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers

Virginia Drug Code § 18.2-250. Possession of controlled substances unlawful (top)

A. It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.). Upon the prosecution of a person for a violation of this section, ownership or occupancy of premises or vehicle upon or in which a controlled substance was found shall not create a presumption that such person either knowingly or intentionally possessed such controlled substance. (a) Any person who violates this section with respect to any controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. (b) Any person other than an inmate of a penal institution as defined in § 53.1-1 or in the custody of an employee thereof, who violates this section with respect to a controlled substance classified in Schedule III shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (b1) Violation of this section with respect to a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV shall be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor. (b2) Violation of this section with respect to a controlled substance classified in Schedule V shall be punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor. (c) Violation of this section with respect to a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI shall be punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor. B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of state, federal, county, city or town law-enforcement agencies, jail officers, or correctional officers, as defined in § 53.1-1, certified as handlers of dogs trained in the detection of controlled substances when possession of a controlled substance or substances is necessary in the performance of their duties.

Virginia Drug Code § 18.2-250.1. Possession of marijuana unlawful (top)

A. It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess marijuana unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.). Upon the prosecution of a person for violation of this section, ownership or occupancy of the premises or vehicle upon or in which marijuana was found shall not create a presumption that such person either knowingly or intentionally possessed such marijuana. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and be confined in jail not more than thirty days and a fine of not more than $500, either or both; any person, upon a second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of state, federal, county, city or town law-enforcement agencies, jail officers, or correctional officers, as defined in § 53.1-1, certified as handlers of dogs trained in the detection of controlled substances when possession of marijuana is necessary for the performance of their duties.For more information or to make an appointment with SRIS, P.C., please call, send an e-mail or complete the on-line form. The Supreme Court of Virginia states the level of proof the Commonwealth must prove to convict a person for possession of a controlled substance. Eric Cooper WALTON v. COMMONWEALTH of Virginia. Record No. 971369. Feb. 27, 1998. Defendant was convicted in the Circuit Court, City of Salem, G.O. Clemens, J., of possession of marijuana, and suspension of defendant’s driver’s license was ordered. Defendant appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, 24 Va.App. 757, 485 S.E.2d 641. Defendant again appealed. The Supreme Court, Stephenson, Jr., Senior Justice, held that: (1) evidence supported finding that defendant knowingly or intentionally possessed marijuana, and (2) statute under which defendant’s driver’s license was suspended did not violate due process. Affirmed. STEPHENSON, Senior Justice. The issues presented in this appeal are (1) whether the evidence is sufficient to convict the defendant of possession of marijuana and, if so, (2) whether the suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license pursuant to Code § 18.2-259.1 violates his constitutional right to due process. On January 18, 1996, following a bench trial, the Circuit Court of the City of Salem convicted Eric Cooper Walton of possession of marijuana, in violation of **871 Code § 18.2-250.1. The court sentenced Walton to 30 days in jail, with all but four days suspended, and fined him $200. Pursuant to Code § 18.2-259.1, Walton’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle was suspended for a period of six months.FN1 FN1. Pursuant to subsection (C) of Code § 18.2-259.1, the trial court permitted Walton to be issued a restricted license for the purpose of traveling to and from his place of employment. Walton appealed the judgment of conviction and the license suspension to the Court of Appeals, presenting, inter alia, the two issues presented here. The Court of Appeals denied the appeal challenging the sufficiency of the evidence of possession of marijuana, but awarded the appeal challenging the license suspension. Thereafter, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s suspension of Walton’s operator’s license. Walton v. Commonwealth, 24 Va.App. 757, 485 S.E.2d 641 (1997). We awarded Walton this appeal on both issues. *425 II On September 12, 1995, in the City of Salem, Detective W.W. Young executed a search warrant at the mobile home of Walton and his wife. The warrant authorized a search for marijuana and all items associated with its use and cultivation. Young found a large marijuana plant growing in a small flower bed immediately adjacent to the steps to the door of the home. Unlike all other plants in the bed, the marijuana plant recently had been watered. Young also found a large metal tray under a couch in Walton’s living room. The tray contained a set of hemostats, a package of rolling papers, and a small quantity of plant material. A subsequent laboratory analysis proved that the plant material was .02 of an ounce of marijuana, “enough to make a cigarette.” During the search, Walton volunteered several statements to Detective Young. Walton stated that he was not a drug dealer; rather, he was “just a guy who smokes a little marijuana and works hard for a living.” Walton also told Young that he had planted the flower bed but that he could not account for the planting of the marijuana. While the detective was searching through a package of cigarettes that had been on the metal tray, Walton said, “[t]here’s no joints in there. I smoked the last one just before you got [here].” At trial, Walton testified that he had been smoking marijuana since 1969. He said that, at times, friends would come to his home and smoke marijuana with him. The friends would bring their own marijuana and take with them the remainder. He stated that, “every time [he] rolled marijuana into cigarettes, [he] either used [the metal] tray or a newspaper or a magazine or whatever,” and then he threw the residue in the trash. Walton further testified that he never had grown marijuana, he did not know what marijuana plants looked like, and he did not know that the large plant in the flower bed was marijuana. He conceded that he previously had been convicted of two felonies and of two or three misdemeanors involving moral turpitude. III First, we determine whether the evidence is sufficient to support the trial court’s finding that Walton knowingly or intentionally possessed marijuana. When the sufficiency of the evidence in a criminal case is challenged on appeal, we must view the evidence and all reasonable inferences fairly deducible therefrom in the light *426 most favorable to the Commonwealth. Dukes v. Commonwealth, 227 Va. 119, 122, 313 S.E.2d 382, 383 (1984). Great deference must be given to the factfinder who, having seen and heard the witnesses, assesses their credibility and weighs their testimony. Saunders v. Commonwealth, 242 Va. 107, 113, 406 S.E.2d 39, 42, cert. denied, 502 U.S. 944, 112 S.Ct. 386, 116 L.Ed.2d 337 (1991). Thus, a trial court’s judgment will not be disturbed on appeal unless it is plainly wrong or without evidence to support it. Code § 8.01-680; Dukes, 227 Va. at 122, 313 S.E.2d at 383. In order to convict a person of illegal possession of an illicit drug, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was aware of the presence and character of the drug and that the accused consciously possessed it. **872 Andrews v. Commonwealth, 216 Va. 179, 182, 217 S.E.2d 812, 814 (1975). An accused’s mere proximity to an illicit drug, however, is not sufficient to prove possession. Drew v. Commonwealth, 230 Va. 471, 473, 338 S.E.2d 844, 845 (1986). In addition, ownership or occupancy of the premises where the drug is found does not create a presumption of possession. Code § 18.2-250.1(A); Garland v. Commonwealth, 225 Va. 182, 184, 300 S.E.2d 783, 784 (1983). Nonetheless, these factors may be considered in deciding whether an accused possessed the drug. Lane v. Commonwealth, 223 Va. 713, 716, 292 S.E.2d 358, 360 (1982). Additionally, proof of actual possession is not required; proof of constructive possession will suffice. Constructive possession may be established when there are ” ‘acts, statements, or conduct of the accused or other facts or circumstances which tend to show that the [accused] was aware of both the presence and character of the substance and that it was subject to his dominion and control.’ ” Drew, 230 Va. at 473, 338 S.E.2d at 845 ( quoting Powers v. Commonwealth, 227 Va. 474, 476, 316 S.E.2d 739, 740 (1984)). In the present case, the police found a marijuana plant growing near the entrance to Walton’s house. The plant was in a flower bed that Walton had planted, and it was the only plant in the flower bed that had been watered recently. Beneath a couch in Walton’s home, the police found a large metal tray containing hemostats, rolling paper, and enough marijuana to roll a cigarette. Walton, a longtime smoker of marijuana, sometimes used the metal tray when he rolled marijuana cigarettes. In fact, Walton had smoked a “joint” just before the police arrived at his home. *427 Viewing the evidence and all reasonable inferences flowing therefrom in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth and affording the factfinder the deference to which it is entitled, we conclude that the evidence fully supports the trial court’s finding that Walton knowingly and intentionally possessed marijuana. This conclusion is supported by all the facts and circumstances proven, including Walton’s acts, statements, and conduct. IV Next, we determine whether the suspension of Walton’s driver’s license violates his constitutional right to due process. Code § 18.2-259.1 provides, in pertinent part, that a judgment of conviction of a drug offense “shall … operate to deprive the person so convicted … of the privilege to drive or operate a motor vehicle … in the Commonwealth for a period of six months.” Walton contends that the suspension of his driver’s license upon his conviction of possession of marijuana violates his substantive due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and under Article I, Section 11 of the Virginia Constitution.FN2 FN2. Walton also contends that the statute violates the proscription against cruel and unusual punishment contained in the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court of Appeals, applying its Rule 5A:18, refused to consider this contention, ruling that the argument had not been made in the trial court. Walton, 24 Va.App. at 761, 485 S.E.2d at 643. The record shows that this argument was not made at trial, and, therefore, we will affirm this ruling of the Court of Appeals. All legislation is presumed to be constitutional, and, therefore, the party attacking the legislation has the burden of proving that it is unconstitutional. Riddleberger v. Chesapeake Western Railway, 229 Va. 213, 215, 327 S.E.2d 663, 664 (1985). Any reasonable doubt whether a statute is constitutional shall be resolved in favor of its validity, and courts will declare a statute invalid only if it is plainly repugnant to some constitutional provision. Blue Cross v. Commonwealth, 221 Va. 349, 358, 269 S.E.2d 827, 832 (1980). Substantive due process tests the reasonableness of legislation vis-à-vis the General Assembly’s power to legislate. Etheridge v. Medical Center Hospitals, 237 Va. 87, 97, 376 S.E.2d 525, 530 (1989); Duke v. County of Pulaski, 219 Va. 428, 437-38, 247 S.E.2d 824, 829 (1978). Ordinarily, unless the legislation affects some fundamental constitutional right, substantive due process is satisfied if the legislation has a “reasonable relation to a proper purpose and [is] *428 neither **873 arbitrary nor discriminatory.” Duke, 219 Va. at 438, 247 S.E.2d at 829. This is the so-called “rational basis” test. The right to operate a motor vehicle is a conditional privilege, which may be suspended or revoked in the interest of public safety under the police power of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth v. Ellett, 174 Va. 403, 414, 4 S.E.2d 762, 767 (1939). It is not a fundamental constitutional right; however, the right may not be revoked or suspended without due process of law. See Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535, 539, 91 S.Ct. 1586, 1589, 29 L.Ed.2d 90 (1971). Thus, whether legislation affecting that right satisfies substantive due process is determined by the application of the rational basis test. Although Code § 18.2-259.1 mandates suspension of a driver’s license for a drug offense that does not involve the operation of a motor vehicle, it is reasonable to conclude that a purpose of the statute is to protect persons using the Commonwealth’s highways. As the Court of Appeals observed, the General Assembly “could reasonably assume that a person who possesses illegal substances would use those substances and could operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of [the] substances.” Walton, 24 Va.App. at 761, 485 S.E.2d at 643. We conclude, therefore, that the General Assembly, in enacting Code § 18.2-259.1, acted in the interest of public safety. Resolving all reasonable doubt in favor of the statute’s validity, we hold that the statute satisfies the rational basis test for substantive due process. V In sum, we hold that the evidence is sufficient to support Walton’s conviction of possession of marijuana and that the suspension of Walton’s driver’s license pursuant to Code § 18.2-259.1 does not violate Walton’s substantive due process rights. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals will be affirmed. Affirmed. Va.,1998. Walton v. Com. 255 Va. 422, 497 S.E.2d 869 We Are a Designated Debt Relief Agency under Federal Law. We Provide Legal Assistance to Consumers Seeking Relief Under the Bankruptcy Code.

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