If you have been arrested for a drug offense of any kind, it is wise to seek experienced legal counsel. A Prince William County drug lawyer can provide you with a free case evaluation to explain Virginia drug laws and the penalties pertaining to your specific drug charges. Your lawyer can work with you to develop an effective defense to avoid conviction or help minimize the consequences of your charges.
Drug offenses involve not only the possession of drugs, but also the cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of such substances. Also included are the attempt to sell or distribute such drugs and the possession or distribution of drug paraphernalia. Because drug charges can involve vastly differing substances and amounts of such substances, the drug offenses range from a lower-level misdemeanors to serious felony charges.
Drug charges can be challenging both to prosecute to defend due to the number of variables that must be taken into account during any individual case. With the help of an experienced Prince William County drug attorney who understands how to dispute illegally obtained evidence and call into question certain relevant legal terms like “possession” and “intent,” you can effectively fight your charges.
The legal team at our firm is dedicated to giving each client the time and attention required to prepare an effective response to his or her unique case. We have the investigative resources of a fully-funded private defense firm and the experience of local attorneys who are fixtures within the Prince William County court system.
To learn more, contact a Prince William County drug lawyer from our firm today.
Drug charges for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) are addressed in Section 18.2-250 of the Virginia Criminal Code. The side effects, long-term effects, addictive tendencies, and other factors distinguish one drug from another, and thus possession of a CDS is categorized and penalized accordingly. Classified in six categories, Schedule I through Schedule VI drugs, charges for these drug offenses vary from Class 4 misdemeanor to felony offenses.
Schedule VI drugs are considered any prescription medications not classified in the Virginia Drug Schedules for which one does not have an authentic medical prescription to use. An individual caught in possession of a Schedule VI drug is charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor. Such a charge is punishable by a fine of $250.
Schedule V drugs are substances such as codeine-based cough suppressants. With low side effects and risk of addiction, these drugs are still considered a relatively mild controlled substance. Even so, charges for possession and misuse of Schedule V drugs are considered a Class 3 misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine of $500.
Like Schedule V and Schedule VI drugs, Schedule IV drugs, when properly prescribed and utilized, are currently accepted for medical treatments in the United States. Schedule IV drugs include a large number of depressants and tranquilizers such as:
Unlawful possession and abuse of such a substance is a Class 2 misdemeanor under Virginia state law. Upon conviction, such charges are punishable by up to 180 days (approximately 6 months) in jail and a maximum fine of $1000.
Schedule III drugs have accepted medical use in the United States, as well, but with improper use can lead to low to moderate physical dependence and/or a high psychological dependence. Such drugs include anabolic steroids such as testosterone-based AndroGel and Bio-T-Gel, pain relievers and other medications containing hydrocodone such as Lortab and Vicodin, and cold remedies which contain codeine or hydrocodone. Possession of such substances without a valid prescription is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Penalties for conviction include up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2500.
Drugs which are classified as Schedule II substances are approved for medical use in the United States, but are strictly regulated as they pose a high risk of abuse. Abuse of these drugs has been shown to have potential for severe psychological and physical dependence. Some such drugs are:
Possession and misuse of these and similar drugs is a felony offense, punishable by state law with a fine of up to $2500 and up to ten years in prison.
Schedule I drugs have no valid medical use and have a high potential for abuse. These drugs are not available by/for prescription and are not clinically available in the United States. Some such illicit drugs which are highly addictive are:
Possession of these or a similar substance is a felony offense and, like possession of Schedule II drugs, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $2500.
Although marijuana is considered legal for medical treatment of glaucoma and cancer in Virginia with a valid prescription, it illegal to possess under any other circumstances.
Upon a first offense, marijuana possession is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500. A second offense is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, and incurs a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a maximum $2500 fine.
If you have been charged with drug possession, drug distribution, possession with intent to sell or distribute, or another drug offense, your first course of action should be to contact a criminal defense attorney in Prince William County. With years of experience providing legal representation for drug-related crimes, the Prince William County drug lawyers at our firm are well-equipped to provide you with a strong defense. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.