While the national attitude towards marijuana may be beginning to shift, in Virginia, it is illegal to possess the drug in any amount. Make no mistake, if you have been charged with the possession of marijuana, your freedom is on the line. A mark on your criminal record for a drug-related offense can hinder your livelihood for years to come, affecting where you may be able to work or live. The first step in protecting your future is to contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone. The firm’s Virginia criminal defense attorney can help you to understand the charges you face as well as what you may expect going forward.
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What Are the Penalties for Possession?
In Virginia, the offense of possession as it relates to marijuana is both a crime dealing with ownership and measurements. If you are found to be in possession of half an ounce or less, knowingly or intentionally, you could be facing a misdemeanor charge. Amounts in excess of this limit may subject a defendant to charges for sale, manufacturing, or trafficking.
The specific penalties for a possession charge can also be influenced by factors including where the alleged offense took place and a defendant’s past criminal history. Depending on the nature of the offense, defendants may also be eligible for probation or diversion programs. These options are typically only available for first-time offenders.
Possible penalties can include:
- A first offense is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of no more than $500.
- PA second or subsequent offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of no more than $2,500.
In addition to the drug itself, it can also be against the law to possess drug paraphernalia if the owner has the intent to sell. The term “paraphernalia” can encompass a wide range of items intended for use, cultivation, or manufacture in association with a drug. A conviction for an offense related to paraphernalia can also carry severe penalties.
Accused of a Drug Crime? Call (703) 988-5882
As soon as an accusation for a drug crime has been made against you, get in touch with the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone. You have the right to legal representation and should not speak to law enforcement without first consulting with the firm’s lead Virginia criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Pignone has handled thousands of cases and can craft an uncompromising legal strategy to maximize the strength of your defense.
There is no time to waste. Contact the firm today and speak with an attorney.