Caroline County Drug Lawyer

A drug conviction, whether for a misdemeanor or a felony, can have unfavorable consequences for your future. You may face a permanent criminal record, difficulties finding employment, an inability to pursue specific careers, as well as the standard penalties for the crime, which may include fines and incarceration. A Caroline County drug lawyer may be instrumental in successfully defending you against drug charges.

Other potential repercussions of a drug conviction might include serving time on probation, completing community services hours, and undergoing drug counseling and treatment. Paying for random drug testing, house arrest, probation fees, and fines also can make it more difficult for you to support yourself. Working with a criminal defense lawyer may be vital to developing a valid defense to the drug charges that you are facing.

Possession of Drugs in Caroline County

The severity of the charges and resulting penalties in many drug crimes depend primarily on the following factors:

  • The schedule or classification of the controlled substance
  • The amount of the drug
  • Whether individuals possessed, manufactured, intended to distribute, or did distribute the drug to others

The federal Drug Control Act categorizes all controlled substances in various schedules, based on the risk of misuse, the likelihood of addiction, threat to the public, and possible medicinal uses. The law classifies as Schedule I drugs as the most dangerous of the controlled substances. Therefore, convictions for any crimes involving the possession or distribution of Schedule I or II drugs tend to carry the most severe penalties.

Under Va. Code § 18.2-250, individuals commit the crime of drug possession if they knowingly possess a controlled substance, unless they obtain it as a result of a valid prescription from a medical practitioner. Criminal charges for illegal drug possession range from a Class 5 felony for possession of Schedule I or II drugs to a Class 4 misdemeanor for possession of Schedule VI drugs. A drug lawyer in Caroline County may be able to advocate on behalf of those facing charges of drug possession and minimize the potential outcome of those charges.

Marijuana Possession

Marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, which subjects those convicted of marijuana-related crimes to the harshest of penalties for drug crimes at the national level. However, Virginia law has established less severe penalties for possession of marijuana charges.

Although Va. Code § 18.2-250.1 still makes it illegal to possess any amount of marijuana, a first offense is a misdemeanor charge, which carries the possibility of a 30-day jail sentence and a $500 fine.

For second or subject marijuana possession offenses, individuals may face charges and penalties that increase in severity, but the offense remains a misdemeanor. Growing and selling large amounts of marijuana, however, still can result in harsh penalties, notwithstanding the lighter treatment of marijuana possession offenses.

Manufacturing and Selling Illegal Drugs

Manufacturing or distributing controlled substances and intending to manufacture or distribute controlled substances both are equally unlawful under Va. Code § 18.2-248. The penalties for this offense range widely according to the schedule of the drug involved and the amount of the drug involved in the incident. In this situation, consulting a drug attorney in Caroline County may be wise.

For example, it is a felony offense to manufacture or distribute, or attempt to produce or distribute, a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, which upon conviction could result in a prison sentence from five to 40 years, and a maximum fine of $500,000. Under Va. Code § 18.2-255.2, if the drug offense meets specific criteria, the individuals accused of the drug offense may be subject to separate charges with independent penalties, including distributing drugs on the grounds of a school or daycare.

Contact a Caroline County Drug Attorney Today

Whether you possess, distribute, manufacture, or even transport illegal drugs, you could be facing potentially severe charges and penalties, even for a first-time offender. You could end up with a sentence consisting of years in prison, thousands in fines, and a permanent black mark on your criminal record that is likely to make your future far more difficult in terms of jobs, housing, school, and credit. A Caroline County drug lawyer may be able to help you minimize the risk of some or all these penalties and work toward a mutually favorable resolution of your case.

Defenses may be available in your case, but you may be unaware of those defenses unless you consult with legal counsel. Strong representation can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case.