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Respected Criminal Defense Lawyers For Those Facing Virginia Drug Charges

Virginia is known as being one of the toughest states in terms of drug crime punishments. If your case is not handled with care from the very beginning, you risk facing serious penalties, up to and including prison time. Some of the most common felony drug charges in Virginia are possession with intent to distribute (PWID), distribution of marijuana, distribution of a controlled substance and manufacturing a controlled substance.

The criminal lawyers of Lawyer Up Virginia have handled countless felony drug cases in Fairfax and throughout northern Virginia. Each drug case in Virginia has its own set of facts and unique circumstances, which is why consulting with a criminal lawyer for drug charges is essential to building the most favorable defense for your case.

When Does Drug Possession Become A Felony In Virginia?

Drug possession charges in Virginia can come with steep penalties, and felony drug charges can carry the highest consequences. For a drug charge to become a felony, the individual must possess a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 controlled substance without a legitimate prescription. Consequences for these charges can include a 10-year prison sentence depending on the circumstances.

Criminal Lawyer For Possession Of A Controlled Substance

Virginia categorizes controlled drugs into six “schedules.” Schedule I substances have the highest chance of abuse or addiction and provide no medicinal benefit. As the schedule numbers increase, the substances present a lower risk of abuse and provide greater medical benefits. However, no matter what schedule of drug, these cases are typically complicated and consulting with a Virginia criminal attorney is strongly recommended.

Penalties for illegally possessing a controlled substance vary according to the schedule of the drug and whether you’re charged with a first or subsequent offense. Below is a list of the penalties for simple possession in Virginia, based on the schedule of the drug:

Possession of a Schedule I Substance (heroin, ecstasy, LSD, GHB):

If you possess a schedule I controlled substance, you face a Class 5 felony, punishable by:

  • One to 10 years in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $2,500

Possession of a Schedule II Substance (methamphetamines, cocaine, morphine, Adderall, Ritalin, PCP):

If you possess a schedule II controlled substance, you face a Class 5 felony, punishable by:

  • One to 10 years in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $2,500

Possession of a Schedule III Substance (anabolic steroids, codeine and hydrocodone, some depressants):

If you possess a schedule III controlled substance, you face a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • Up to one year in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $2,500.

Possession of a Schedule IV Substance (Darvon, Talwin, Equanil, Valium, Rohypnol, Xanax, tranquilizers):

If you possess a schedule IV controlled substance, you face a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • A maximum of six months in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000

Possession of a Schedule V Substance (codeine-based cough medicines):

If you possess a schedule V controlled substance, you face a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • A maximum fine of $500

Possession of a Schedule VI Substance:

If you possess a schedule VI controlled substance, you face a Class 4 misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • A maximum fine of $250

Virginia Criminal Lawyer: Distribution Of A Controlled Substance

Distribution of a controlled substance in Virginia is a felony offense, while possession with intent to distribute (PWID) may be either a misdemeanor or felony offense. Our criminal attorneys have represented both adults and juveniles who have been charged with distribution or selling cocaine, heroin, Adderall, marijuana, fentanyl, PCP and other drugs.

Distribution of a Schedule I or II Substance is a felony, carrying a punishment of:

  • Between five to 40 years in jail (with a possible life sentence for a subsequent offense); and
  • A maximum of $500,000

Distribution of a Schedule III, IV or V Substance is a misdemeanor, carrying a punishment of:

  • A maximum of one year in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $2,500

What If I Was Arrested On Drug Charges Due To An Illegal Search?

Under the Fourth Amendment, authorities cannot conduct unreasonable searches or seizures against you. But how can you know whether they were acting lawfully? Here are a few indicators that can determine the legitimacy of their actions:

If The Officer Acted Lawfully

They would have:

  • Obtained a search warrant
  • Seen or smelled evidence in plain sight (a bag of drugs sitting on the kitchen counter)
  • Gotten your consent to conduct a search if they didn’t have a warrant

If The Officer Acted Unlawfully

They may have:

  • Searched your property without a warrant
  • Searched your property without your consent
  • Not seen or smelled any evidence in plain sight
  • Intimidated you into complying to a search

Even if officers searched and seized your property illegally, that doesn’t always invalidate your arrest or the charges you’re facing. However, they may be unable to present the evidence they found during their search in your case.

What Are The Best Defenses To Virginia Drug Charges?

The best defense to Virginia drug charges depends on the specific facts surrounding your arrest; however, one of the most common defenses involves challenging the recovery of the drugs through a motion to suppress. A motion to suppress is a pretrial motion asking the court to exclude certain evidence from trial, usually on the basis that the evidence was seized in violation of your constitutional rights. For example, if a police officer stopped you without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, any evidence they recovered is inadmissible at trial. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you determine what defenses are available in your case.

Are You Facing Virginia Drug Charges? Speak With A Lawyer Today.

If you were recently arrested and charged with a drug crime in Virginia, it is essential that you have an experienced attorney by your side at every step of the way. At Robinson Law, PLLC, our lawyers are passionate about fighting for the rights – and freedom – of our clients and will do everything possible to ensure your arrest has as little effect on your life as possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call 703-542-3616. You can also connect with us through our online form.