Richmond Drug Possession Penalties

Depending on the type of drug, a person is looking at anywhere from 10 years in jail to no time in jail for Richmond drug possession penalties. Depending on the criminal history of the alleged, the first offender program can be offered, which carries no time in jail and leads to an ultimate dismissal of the charge. Since there is such a variety of charges, it is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as the process begins. A Richmond drug attorney can help fight to keep a charge from becoming a conviction on your criminal record.

Under the law, if a person gets convicted of a possession with intent to distribute and gets up to 40 on a third offense. They are guaranteed 10 years of jail time. The consequences of intent to distribute on Richmond drug possession cases includes a minimum of four years mandatory jail time. A Class 6 felony simple possession charge can reach a maximum fine of $2,500.

Treatment of Drug Possession Cases

If someone is a consistent drug user, there may be opportunities to help them if they are understanding of their problem. The court may see it as an issue that can be solved if they receive assistance. However, that same level of compassion is not afforded to drug dealers. Even if someone believes that they are right to be selling drugs in order to self-sustain, the courts may not agree. They may face jail time for an extended period of time for using or selling illegal substances.

Impact of Conviction

Richmond drug possession penalties may include a felony conviction. If a person is convicted of a drug case involving a scheduled drug, they are going to be considered a felon. They are not even going to be considered a Virginia felon. If a person is a felon, they lose the right to vote and the right to possess a firearm. If they are in court again as a felon, they have an impeachable offense on their record.

The second is loss of driving privileges. People often do not know that when convicted of possessing Schedule I, Schedule II, or any kind of drugs, they can lose their license for six months to a year.

The third and most important is jail time. When dealing with drug cases, an individual is looking at 10 years in jail. Ten years in jail leads to loss of job. A felony conviction leads to loss of job opportunities. The person is also permanently on the police’s radar. When anything happens in or around them, they are going to be a person of interest and elevated on the list of suspects. The individual will be forever a person of interest in the eyes of the police. A person does not want to have that around the community at any time.

Classifying Intent to Distribute Charges

More than likely on a first offense for someone with no record means the person is not going to go to jail. On a second offense, it is a mandatory three years, meaning that even if the only thing that the person has on their record is one previous possession with intent to distribute, if the person did no time on that first one, on the second one, it is a guaranteed three years. If the person gets convicted, they cannot do any less time than three years. On a third offense, it is a guaranteed 10 years.

While with simple possession, a person can have 15 simple possessions on a record but the person never even had the opportunity of doing more than 10 years, the worst a person can get is 10 years and they are never getting 10 years on simple possession.

First Time Offenders

When somebody has no criminal history and no criminal history involving drugs, on their first drug possession charge they enter into the first offender program. That carries with it a substance abuse treatment. The person must remain drug and alcohol-free, make efforts to maintain and keep employment, do 100 hours of community services if charged with a felony offense or 24 hours of community service if charged with a misdemeanor, and submit to drug screening and drug testing. If a person is successful in getting that done, after six months a misdemeanor can be dismissed and after a calendar year, a felony can be dismissed.

Even though D.C. has decriminalized the use of marijuana, it is still taken very seriously in Richmond. If stopped or contacted by the police for any drug possession, remain silent. Do not speak to law enforcement without an attorney present or without consulting an attorney. Richmond drug possession penalties can include serious consequences such as a felony conviction, time in jail, and the loss of rights and privileges. It is important to contact a Richmond drug lawyer as soon as they can.

Constitutional Trends in Richmond

The Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution are often trends that arise in Richmond drug possession cases. Those are going to be prevalent in any drug case. Under the Fourth Amendment, a person is right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. That keeps the police officers, any state agent, or state actors from searching a person or their surrounding area, including their home, pants, or anything without reasonable, articulable suspicion that crime is afoot, probable cause that the person is breaking the law, or a search or arrest warrant. The Fifth Amendment comes into play when the Commonwealth is using or seeking to use statements that the person may have made while under police custody against them in court to show or prove any element of a drug offense.

Contact an Attorney

Richmond drug possession penalties in can be devastating if you do not have the proper representation. Contacting a Richmond drug lawyer is very important if you want a chance of getting the least severe penalty you can possibly receive. They will fight for you and challenge the state’s argument and evidence. They do the most they can to get your life going back in the right direction.