Richmond Drug Lawyer
With severe penalties that can include everything from fines to prison time, drug crimes in Richmond, Virginia are taken very seriously. If you are someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, contact a Richmond drug lawyer as soon as possible so they can begin to explore your legal options.
By consulting with a drug attorney in Richmond, you provide yourself with the best possible opportunity to overcome your charges and minimize any long term harm to your reputation.
What Is a Drug Crime in Richmond?
Drug laws in Virginia are very strict, carrying penalties that vary, depending upon type of drug crime, the amount of a certain drug, and the type of drug.
Under various Virginia drug laws, a person may be prosecuted for any of the following types of actions, among others:
- Possession of Narcotics or Controlled Substances
- Drug Conspiracy
- Possession With Intent To Distribute
- Prescription Drugs
- Volume Dealer Charges
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Drug Manufacturing
- Constitutional Issues
Types of Drug Charges
Virginia code section 18.2-248(A) makes it unlawful for you to manufacture, distribute, sell, give, or possess, with the intent to distribute, a controlled substance.
The penalty for committing a crime held within this section depends upon certain factors.
For example, per section 18.2-248, if a Schedule I or II controlled substance, that is not methamphetamine, was manufactured, sold, given, distributed, or possessed with the intent to distribute, then you would face a felony conviction with a penalty of five to 40 years in prison and a fine in excess of $500,000.
- Different Drug Charges in Richmond
- What Prosecutors Need to Prove in Richmond
- Drug Enforcement in Richmond
- Our Approach to Richmond Drug Cases
- Marijuana Possession Charges
- Prosecution and Evidence in Richmond Drug Cases
- Sentencing in Richmond Drug Cases
If this is not your first conviction of this kind, contacting a Richmond drug attorney is of even more importance as the penalty will increase. For a person with a prior conviction of this same crime, the penalty increases to five years to life in prison and a fine up to $500,000, with a mandatory minimum of three years in prison. The penalty increases to a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years if you have two or more prior convictions for a crime of this kind.
Virginia also takes into account the type of drug involved in the crime. For example, per section 18.2-248, you would be facing a penalty of five years to life in prison in addition to a fine in excess of $1 million if the drug that was manufactured, sold, given, distributed, or possessed with the intent to distribute, was any of the following:
- 100 or more grams of heroin
- 500 grams or more of cocaine
- 250 grams or more of cocaine base
- 10 grams or more of methamphetamine
- 20 grams or more of a substance with a detectable amount of methamphetamine
Transporting Drugs into Virginia
Virginia has created laws with the intent to prevent drugs from crossing into Virginia.
Section 18.2-248.01 makes it unlawful for you to transport, with the intent to sell or distribute, at least one ounce, of cocaine, one ounce of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, or at least five ounces of marijuana.
If you are found to have violated section 18.2-248.01, you will face a felony conviction, which carries a penalty of five to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million, and a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison. Prior convictions can increase the penalty to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Possession of Drugs
In Virginia, it is illegal to knowingly possess a controlled substance that was obtained without a valid prescription per section 18.2-259.1(A). Possessing a Schedule I or II controlled substance, obtained in an unauthorized manner, will result in a class 5 felony conviction, which carries a one-to ten-year prison sentence.
Virginia is not as strict with marijuana possession as it is with Schedule I and II controlled substances. Section 18.2-250.1 classifies the knowing possession of marijuana without a valid prescription as being punishable by 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500. However, if this is your second or more offense, your penalty could increase to up to 12 month in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500. Contact a Richmond drug lawyer to learn more.
In an attempt to deter people from combining drugs and guns, Virginia has created section 18.2-308.4, which carries separate and distinct penalties for both the drug and gun crimes. The penalty for the drug and gun related offense change based upon whether:
- You merely own the gun
- The gun was present during a drug-related crime
- The gun was used or displayed as part of the drug-related crime
If you possessed a Schedule I or II controlled substance while intentionally possessing a firearm, section 18.2-308.4 classifies that as a class 6 felony, in addition to the drug possession penalty, which carries a penalty of one to five years in prison.
However, if the defendant possessed a firearm while in possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, on or about their person, the aforementioned class 6 penalty becomes enhanced, per section 18.2-308.4, with a minimum two years in prison.
If the firearm was used or displayed threateningly while committing or attempting to commit distribution, or possession, with the requisite intent, a Schedule I or II controlled substance or over one pound of marijuana, the class 6 felony penalty becomes enhanced with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years.
Again, any gun-related penalty in Virginia is designed to be served consecutively with the punishment you receive for the primary drug-related offense.
How a Richmond Drug Lawyer Can Help
Drug penalties in Virginia have many variations and are susceptible to increases or decreases based on the details of your case. Having an experienced Richmond drug lawyer can help navigate the intricacies of your case in a way that can help you achieve a lesser penalty or even have your case dismissed.