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The Harsh Realities of Drug Charges in Virginia

Drug possession charges in Virginia can be very harsh. You may expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Having an attorney can make a significant difference to your peace of mind as well as the results of your case.

How Does the Law in Virginia Interpret Drug Possession?

You do not have to have drugs in your hands or your pockets to be criminally charged with possession. The legal definition of possession means you have to have the substance “within your control.” If you can reach it, it is in your control. If you cannot reach it but it is in a place that only you have main access to, you can be charged with possession. With this definition, drugs found in your glove box, on the table next to you, or even in a shoebox under your bed could be attributed to you and result in a drug charge.

Penalties for Drug Possession – by Schedule

Possession of a Schedule I Substance
Examples: heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and GHB
This is considered a Class 5 felony, and carries up to ten years in prison and fines up to $2,500.

Possession of a Schedule II Substance
Examples: cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine, PCP, methadone
This is considered a Class 5 felony, and carries up to ten years in prison and fines up to $2,500.

Possession of a Schedule III Substance
Examples: ketamine, hydrocodone, Vicodin, steroids
This is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, and carries up to 12 months in jail and fines up to $2,500

Possession of a Schedule IV Substance
Examples: Valium, Xanax, and Rohypnol
This is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor, and carries up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,000

Possession of a Schedule V Substance
Examples: cold medications that contain codeine
This is considered a Class 3 misdemeanor, and carries a fine of $500

Possession of a Schedule VI Substance
Examples: substances that have the least risk of addiction
This is considered a Class 4 misdemeanor, and carries a fine of up to $250

Penalties for Drug Distribution – by Schedule

Intent to Distribute Less Than ½ oz of Marijuana
This is considered a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to 12 months in jail.

Intent to Distribute ½ oz Up To 5 lbs of Marijuana
This is considered a felony and carries a sentence of up to ten years in prison.

Intent to Distribute More Than 5lbs of Marijuana
This is considered a felony and carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Intent to Distribute a Schedule I Substance
Examples: Heroin, Ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, GHB
This carries a sentence of anywhere from five to 40 years in prison, fines up to $500,000, and for a second offense, up to life in prison.

Intent to Distribute a Schedule II Substance
Examples: Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Crystal Meth, Morphine, PCP, Methadone, Ritalin
This carries a sentence from five to 40 years in prison, fines up to $500,000, and for a second offense, up to life in prison.

Intent to Distribute a Schedule III Substance
Examples: Anabolic Steroids, Codeine, Hydrocodone, Ketamine, Barbiturates
This carries a sentence from one to ten years in prison.

Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Substance
Examples: Prescription Drugs, Darvon, Talwin, Equanil, Valium Rohypnol, Xanax
This carries a sentence from one to five years in prison.

Contact us for a consultation and expert advice on drug charges in Virginia.