Drug charges in the state of Virginia end up with either a felony or misdemeanor penalties, depending on several elements. These elements include the kind and quantity of controlled substances involved, as well as whether the offender is accused of possessing the drugs for personal use, distribution or sale. A very popular drug in Virginia is Marijuana, below information of its possession and penalties, are stated.
Marijuana Possession Crimes in Virginia
According to Virginia criminal law, it is illegal to possess marijuana knowingly, intentionally and without a prescription from a licensed medical doctor. However, prosecutors cannot establish a crime of marijuana possession simply on the basis that an individual owns or occupies a vehicle or building in which marijuana is found by authorities.
The penalty for marijuana possession in Virginia:
Penalties of marijuana possession are a misdemeanor, along with up to $500 in fines and no more than thirty days of incarceration. For a person that violates this law a second time, the penalty is elevated to a class one misdemeanor, along with up to a one of incarceration and a $2,500 fine.
Penalties Increased for Marijuana Sale Crimes
According to Virginia criminal law, penalties are stiffer for people who cultivate marijuana, or who possess it with an intention to sell and/or distribute. The punishments depend on the weight of the marijuana.
The state of Virginia laws divides drugs into schedules based on how addictive the substance is and the number of medical uses these drugs have.
A Schedule I drug like heroin has a high potential to be abused and does not have a medical benefit. Schedule II has a high potential for abuse and can lead to severe addiction. Included in this category are cocaine, methamphetamine, and PCP. For possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, there can be incarceration for up to 10 years and/or a fine of $2,500.
Schedule III drugs have a lower risk of abuse than Schedule II drugs, but there is a chance for addiction. Possession of a Schedule III drug such as Codeine is a class one misdemeanor punishable by to one year of incarceration and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Schedule IV drugs like Xanax carry a lower risk of abuse than Schedule III drugs with limited chance of addiction. A conviction for possessing one of these drugs is a class two misdemeanor punishable by six months of incarceration and/or, a fine of up to $1,000.
Schedule V drugs like cough medicine have a low chance of abuse and limited risk of addiction and have acceptable medical benefits. Improper possession of a Schedule V drug is a class three misdemeanor. If convicted of this offense, the offender may face a fine of up to $500. Possession of a Schedule VI drug is a class four misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $250.
Distributing Controlled Substances to Minors
If a person over the age of 18 intentionally sells or gives controlled substances to a minor at least three years younger than the person, or gets a minor to help distribute controlled substances, then the person is guilty of a felony accompanied with penalties of ten to fifty years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
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