Drug Arrests in Petersburg

Drug arrests in Petersburg are serious incidents that can have far-reaching effects on the person being arrested. Possession of some drugs or other controlled substances may lead to felony charges, while others may lead to misdemeanors. However, the social stigmas attached to drug-related charges can have a significant impact on your future, regardless of the degree of the associated charges.

Your career, job prospects, and many aspects of your life can be affected by a drug charge on your record. It is crucial to put up the best defense possible and explore mitigating circumstances and defenses available to avoid these charges as much as possible. An experienced drug charge attorney might be able to provide the assistance you need.

Drug-Related Activities That Result in Arrests

Drug arrests in Petersburg and the related charges result from three primary factors: the type of drug involved, the amount involved, and how the person charged has used or intended to use the drugs in question. The combination of these three factors controls the type of charge and defense options available to the defendant and their attorney.

The type of drugs in question can have a significant impact on the penalties. Depending on the classification of the substance, charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies.

Under the Code of Virginia § 18.2-248.1, individuals who grow marijuana or possess it with the purpose to sell or distribute it will face harsher penalties. Intent to distribute is often determined by the amount of drugs the person has in their possession at the time of the arrest. A person possessing marijuana, for example, is considered to have the intent to distribute if they possess more than one ounce.

How Drugs Are Classified in Virginia

Virginia, like most states, has divided drugs and controlled substances into different classifications with a range of penalties assigned. Drugs are classified under “schedules” based on their potential medicinal use and potential for addiction.

Unlike many states, Virginia includes a sixth schedule that primarily refers to marijuana. Under Schedule VI, marijuana is considered to have some medicinal uses with little to no risk of addiction. In some cases, a prosecutor could defer the penalties for marijuana possession.

Controlled substances with no medicinal use, such as heroin, are classified under Schedule I. Schedule I charges yield far stiffer penalties, often leading to felonious charges.

Basic Penalties for Drug Crimes

As stated, penalties are often based on the circumstances, amount, and type of drugs involved. However, the various Schedules which are used to classify controlled substances also carry set penalty ranges.

For example, the most severe controlled substances under Schedule I can carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $2,500 fines. Possession of the substance under Schedule I is a felony, and can impact additional rights and aspects of a person’s life even beyond prison.

However, Petersburg drug arrests that involved the Schedule VI drug marijuana carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison in addition to a $2,500 fine. Schedule VI charges are not automatic penalties and can often be charged as mere misdemeanors or deferred charges under certain circumstances. An experienced lawyer could provide further information about how a deferred charge is possible.

Call an Attorney After a Drug Arrest in Petersburg

A drug arrest in Petersburg, while serious, is not necessarily the end of your story. While there is much a stake, the state still has to prove its case. Building a solid case and challenging the charges requires knowledge of the law and experience with the justice system. An experienced lawyer could help, so schedule a consultation by calling our office today.