Alternative Sentencing for Fredericksburg Drug Offenses

Fredericksburg drug alternative sentencing options are dependent on the drug Schedule and the individual’s record. The Virginia Code states that a person can be placed into the first offender program with a simple possession marijuana, first offense charge. This type of charge would be classified as a Class One misdemeanor, facing 30 days in jail.

An experienced drug attorney can help you create an appropriate defense for your desired outcome. A Fredericksburg drug lawyer can advise you on the local laws regarding the kind of charge and the consequences related to them.

Role of Drug Classifications

An individual with a marijuana drug charge that carries no time to 30 days in jail can have the option for a first offender program. There, an individual is going to be given 24 hours of community service. If the individual can comply with substance abuse treatment and maintain employment, their license will be suspended for a six-month period. If the individual does everything they are ordered by the court to do after those six months, the charge is ultimately going to be dismissed.

On a simple possession of a Schedule One or Schedule Two drug which includes heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, an individual is going to be looking at a first offender program. While it is still a class five felony, that individual has a year to do one hundred hours of community service, maintain employment, follow up with drug treatment, and be consistent with their probation.

The possession with intent to distribute charge has no program options. These charges include distributions and manufacturing charges. However, multiple convictions can lead up to a very harsh penalty. Having a first conviction of what attorneys refer to as PWID (Possession with Intent to Distribute) carries five to 40 years. First drug convictions include possession with intent to distribute, distribution, and manufacturing. A judge can suspend that sentence so the individual may not be looking at any jail time. In this case, there is no mandatory minimum.

Alternative Options for Second Offenses

On a second offense marijuana charge, an individual does not have that option. There are no programs available for that individual and that individual is now looking at a Class One misdemeanor or anything from zero days in jail to 12 months in jail.

If an individual is on their second offense for a Schedule One or Two drug, they no longer have Fredericksburg alternative sentencing options to go into some form of a program. The Virginia sentencing guidelines are normally not going to ask for an active time of incarceration. The individual will be looking at probation and no incarceration on the second offense, despite having a felony conviction on their record.

Sentencing for a second offense charge goes from five to 40 years to five to life. The jury can put that individual in jail for life for a second offense possession with intent to distribute a Schedule One or Schedule Two drug, which already has a three-year mandatory minimum attached. A judge may not suspend or remove that time if that individual is convicted of a possession with intent to distribute.

Third Offense Mandatory Minimums

There are no Fredericksburg drug alternative sentencing options for a third drug offense. That person is going to be looking at some minimal time in jail and also a felony conviction on their record. With a third or subsequent offense, instead of five to life, an individual is looking at 10 years to life with a mandatory minimum of 10 years.

That mandatory minimum time is the Department of Corrections (DOC) time that an individual must do, and so with the subsequent conviction of a distribution charge, even though there are no programs available, on a first offense, the individual may not go to jail, however, with a second or third offense, an individual is doing a minimum of three, a minimum of 10 years, guaranteed.