Common Drug Charges in Richmond

The most common drug charges in Richmond include misdemeanor possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, felony possessions of a Schedule I or Schedule II, felony possession with intent to distribute, and felony distribution. Richmond defense attorneys do not see drug manufacturing charges often.

If you were charged with a drug offense, contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Even if it is your first offense, drug charges can have a serious impact on your life. The best way to defend yourself is with the help of a qualified lawyer.

Common Controlled Substance Offenses

Richmond is a college town, with both the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University in the middle of the city. Historically, colleges tend to be more liberal, and the use of marijuana is common with the younger generation. Young individuals also use molly, Adderall, or other variations of amphetamines on college campuses.

At the same time, Richmond has a lot of low-income project areas such as Gilpin Court, Craven Court, Mosby Court, and Wickham Court. These developments have a lot of heroin, crack cocaine, and different cocaine-based substances. Many people are using those substances or selling them to the homeless.

Of course, Richmond is also a major city. In cities, you are going to have homeless individuals, individuals using heroin, individuals using crack cocaine, and so on. Richmond has essentially all three of those dynamics in a small geographical location with a whole lot of people, all varying from the poorest of the poor in these housing projects and the homeless in the city all the way to the richest of the rich. Local defense attorneys see charges for different kinds of substances, varying from crack cocaine all the way to pure powder cocaine, and all the stops in between.

Law Enforcement is Cracking Down on Distribution

The drug team wants to do their best to crack down on manufacturing, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute. While Richmond does not necessarily have a drug problem, it does want to crack down on what is being referred to now as the heroin epidemic. In order to nip that in the bud, local police are going to do everything they can to catch the alleged dealers.

What you see mainly in the city are folks, young and old, being arrested for simple possession. There is no marijuana focus in Richmond. They focus on the Schedule I and Schedule II substances, trying to clean up the streets. Their focus is on the distribution, manufacturing, and possession with intent to distribute.

What you will normally see is somebody being arrested on a street-level drug possession charge. They then take that individual and use them as an informant to see if they can catch somebody bigger. On top of that, they will also arrest low-level drug dealers, like somebody who is slinging dime bags on a corner who may have, in their possession at the time that they are caught, a couple grams of cocaine all individually bagged. Technically, it is possession with intent to distribute, but there is not much product. Their arrest will not stop the drug epidemic.

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

The way that the laws are set up in Virginia, if someone is charged with possession with intent to distribute, there are mandatory minimums sentences. On a first offense, there is no mandatory minimum. On the second offense, there is a three-year mandatory minimum sentence. On a third offense, a person is looking at a mandatory 10 years.

Many young men and women who are charged with a first-offense take an agreement or plea that does not involve any jail time. Later, they will get caught again doing a similar activity, they will be charged with a second offense, and the Commonwealth will once again make a deal.

On the third offense, there will be no deals because now they are looking at a mandatory 10 years in jail. The Commonwealth uses these severe penalties to convince people to give up the big suppliers. They use the lower-level dealers or low-level users to ultimately get information or informants to assist in catching these high-level folk.

Reach Out to a Richmond Drug Attorney

If you face any of the common drug charges in Richmond, you need an ally. A dedicated criminal lawyer could stand by your side and protect your interests at every step of a case. Call today to schedule a consultation and begin building a defense.