Prince William County Drug Lawyer

The consequences of drug convictions can be harsh, even for a first offense. A drug offense in your background can create insurmountable obstacles in trying to further your career, pursue higher education, or seek a new job. Whether you are suffering from drug addiction or just were in the wrong place at the wrong time, a Prince William County drug lawyer may be able to defend you against drug charges.

Facing drug charges can be extremely scary, especially if you are unsure how the charges will affect your future. A diligent defense attorney may be able to explain the potential repercussions of your drug charges and explore different options for resolving the charges against you.

Drug Possession

According to Virginia Code § 18.2-250, it is illegal to knowingly possess a controlled substance, except for those who obtain it according to a valid prescription from a medical practitioner. The penalties for drug possession depend upon the schedule assigned to the controlled substance, as well as the amount of the drug involved in the offense. Generally, as a drug attorney in Prince William County may advise, Virginia law categorizes drugs according to the same schedules as the federal Drug Control Act.

Schedule I and II drugs are those seen as the most dangerous, with the highest potential for abuse and no acceptable medicinal usage. Possession of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs carry the most serious charges and penalties. Accordingly, possession of drugs in Schedules III, IV, V, and VI results in increasingly minor misdemeanor charges with accompanying penalties.

Marijuana Possession in Prince William County

Under the Drug Control Act, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance, which subjects those who commit criminal offenses involving marijuana to extremely harsh penalties under federal law. Virginia, however, like many other jurisdictions, has taken steps to lessen the penalties for marijuana offenses.

Under Va. Code § 18.2-250.1 possession of marijuana remains illegal, but only will result in a misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. For a second or subsequent offense, the charge increases to a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, which carries the potential for more stringent penalties. Nonetheless, penalties for any drug offense, mainly when it involves copious amounts of drugs, still can be severe. Consulting a drug lawyer in Prince William County for advice in this situation may be advisable. Accomplished defense lawyers answer any questions regarding marijuana possession or any other drug offense.

Manufacturing and Dealing in Controlled Substances

Under Va. Code § 18.2-248, it is unlawful for individuals to manufacture, sell, or otherwise distribute controlled substances or imitation controlled substances, or to intend to make or deal in controlled substances. The penalties for manufacturing or dealing in controlled substances tend to be more weighty than those for mere possession of controlled substances, but they also differ according to the schedule of the drug and the amount of the drug.

Also, manufacturing or distributing certain amounts of some controlled substances may result in mandatory minimum prison sentences. For trafficking in large quantities of Schedule I drugs, individuals could face decades or even life in prison. Va. Code § 18.2-255.2 also establishes circumstances that add separate charges to drug dealing offenses, such as when drug manufacturing or distribution takes place at schools, daycares, libraries, or other designed public areas.

Get Help from a Prince William Drug Attorney

When accused of committing serious criminal offenses, you should strongly consider taking immediate action to protect your rights. All too often, missteps by police can lead to the improper apprehension of people and the violation of individuals constitutional rights. A Prince William County drug lawyer may be able to assist you in protecting those rights.

While you may be discouraged by the prospect of drug charges, there may be ways to defend yourself against these serious charges effectively. Engaging experienced legal counsel at the very outset of your case can help you fight back against criminal charges and preserve your future for the coming years.