Henrico County Drug Distribution Lawyer

Although Virginia has taken steps in recent years to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, state law enforcement authorities still take the unlawful sale of controlled substances seriously and prosecute convicted offenders harshly. Even if you have never had any trouble with the law up to now, being found guilty of drug distribution could leave you facing life-altering consequences that might include years of imprisonment on top of steep monetary fines and the loss of certain civil privileges.

Representation from a Henrico County drug distribution lawyer could be crucial to defending your rights effectively in a high-stakes scenario like this. Throughout the proceeding, your dedicated drug defense attorney could advocate on your behalf in pursuit of the best possible resolution to your unique case.

How State Law Penalizes Drug Distribution

Code of Virginia § 18.2-248 makes it a criminal offense to sell, distribute, give, manufacture, or possess any controlled substance or imitation of such a substance. The specific penalties associated with a conviction under this statue are based on the particular substance(s) involved, as a Henrico County drug distribution attorney could further explain.

Selling or distributing any Schedule V substance in Virginia is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 12 months of jail time and a $2,500 fine, at most, upon conviction. Doing the same with Schedule IV or Schedule III substances would respectively be considered a Class 6 or Class 5 felony, carrying respective maximum prison terms of five years and 10 years in addition to a $2,500 maximum fine. Distribution of any imitation of a substance classified in Schedule I, II, III, or IV is also considered a Class 6 felony, regardless of whether the defendant knew the substance was fake or not.

A first offense for distributing or selling a Schedule I or Schedule II substance may result in a prison term of five to 40 years, plus a maximum $500,000 fine. A second conviction raises the mandatory minimum prison term to 10 years and a third conviction could allow for a maximum life sentence. Finally, people who sell or distribute certain substances in extremely large volumes may face 20 years minimum in prison up to a maximum of life, plus a $1,000,000 maximum fine, for a first conviction.

What Constitutes “Intent to Distribute” in Henrico County?

In some situations, prosecutors may assume that a person found in possession of unlawful substances intended to sell or distribute them based on other evidence found during an arrest or criminal investigation. Anyone found possessing a greater quantity of controlled substance(s) than what law enforcement deems would be a reasonable amount for personal use may be prosecuted for intent to distribute. This is regardless of the defendant’s actual stated intentions or actions.

Other factors that may lead to this kind of case being pursued against a Virginia resident include:

  • The presence of materials used to package the substance(s) in question, like baggies or plastic wrap
  • An absence of drug paraphernalia that would indicate personal use of a controlled substance
  • Items commonly used in drug distribution, like scales
  • The presence of a large amount of cash in addition to controlled substances
  • Testimony from an arresting officer indicating an intent to distribute by the defendant

Assistance from a drug distribution lawyer in Henrico County could be especially vital to contesting allegations in court.

Speak with a Henrico County Drug Distribution Attorney Today

Drug distribution is almost always a felony in Virginia, and always a charge that can result in life-changing criminal sanctions. If you try to fight a case like this by yourself, your chances of securing a positive final result may be very slim.

A knowledgeable Henrico County drug distribution lawyer’s guidance could make all the difference in how effectively you can protect your rights. Call today for a consultation.