Drug Charges in Petersburg

When it comes to criminal charges that are aggressively pursued by police and prosecutors alike, drug offenses are high on the list. From possession to manufacturing, these crimes carry serious penalties that could alter your life forever. If you are facing drug charges in Petersburg, it is vital that you seek the advice of legal counsel right away. Let a dedicated drug attorney help you build the strongest defense strategy possible.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

The most common drug-related criminal offense is possession of a controlled substance. Possession of a controlled substance is governed by Virginia Code § 18.2-250. This criminal offense is defined as knowingly possessing a controlled substance without authorization. Common examples of authorization are medical research licenses or doctor’s prescriptions.

The penalties that come with a conviction for possession depend on the schedule of the controlled substance. While possession of lower-tier substances is only a misdemeanor, the possession of a Schedule I drug is a felony that could lead to 12 months in jail.

Transporting Controlled Substances

Virginia law also recognizes an offense known as transporting controlled substances. Transporting controlled substances is governed by Virginia Code § 18.2-248.01. According to the statute, it is unlawful to transport certain controlled substances into Virginia with the intent to sell or distribute them. This statute applies to:

  • Schedule I drugs
  • Schedule II drugs
  • Five or more ounces of marijuana

Transporting controlled substances is a serious offense. This felony could lead to up to 40 years in prison and a fine of no more than $1 million. What is unique about transporting charges is that the offense is related entirely to bringing a controlled substance into Virginia from across state lines. Drug charges in Petersburg that involve transportation could potentially lead to federal charges as well.

Distribution of a Controlled Substance

Distribution of a controlled substance is outlawed by Virginia Code § 18.2-248. Distribution refers to giving or transferring a controlled substance to another person. While these transactions often involve an exchange of money, that does not have to be the case in order for a distribution conviction to occur.

The penalties associated with distribution of a controlled substance are tied to the type of drugs that were distributed. At the high end, distributing a controlled substance could lead to as much as 40 years in prison—even for a first-time offender. Multiple drug charge convictions for this offense in Petersburg could even lead to a life sentence.

Manufacturing a Controlled Substance

The same statute that outlaws the distribution of a controlled substance also applies to manufacturing these substances. It is unlawful to grow, create, or manufacture a controlled substance in Petersburg. This includes anything from making LSD in a lab to growing marijuana in a field.

Anyone that plays even a minor part in the process of manufacturing a controlled substance could face criminal jeopardy. Even supplying the materials needed to manufacture drugs is enough to lead to a conviction.

Talk to an Attorney About a Drug Charge in Petersburg

The above scenarios are only a small cross-section of the possible drug charges that are possible in Petersburg. Each of these charges has the potential to bring about devastating penalties. In the most serious cases, you could find your freedom at risk. Let an experienced attorney advise you on your options following a drug arrest. Call right away to learn what is possible in your specific situation.