Arlington Drug Attorney
The possession, manufacture, and distribution of illegal narcotics are considered criminal offenses in Arlington, Virginia. The possession and distribution of prescription medication can also lead to criminal charges. Depending on the type and amount of the drug involved and the severity of the charges, the penalties can become extremely severe. Convictions for drug-related crimes can include hefty fines and incarceration, with mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses. If you have incurred drug charges in the region an experienced Arlington drug attorney would be well-suited to provide you with further information regarding your charges and the penalties you may be facing. We also provide assistance with other criminal matters in Arlington.
What Constitutes a Drug Charge?
When dealing with illegal substances, there is a wide range of offenses with which a person could be charged. These crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the circumstances of the offense. Criminal offenses related to drugs in Virginia include:
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Possession of related paraphernalia
Having previous convictions for any of these or other drug-related offenses, or committing one of these offenses in combination with another crime, can exacerbate the negative consequences if you are convicted. Transporting illegal narcotics across state lines or providing controlled substances to minors can also increase the possible penalties you face.
When dealing with a drug charge, there are two important factors Virginians must consider in regards to legal defense. The type of drug will play a major part in the potential punishment and severity of the charge. Similarly, your location at the time of the citation is of equal importance. For example, if you were using or possessing the substance within the vicinity of Wakefield High School, Washington-Lee High School, Yorktown High School, or any of the other local public or private schools, the penalties may increase dramatically.
Types of Drugs
The Commonwealth of Virginia classifies narcotics into six categories, or schedules. The schedule of each drug is determined based on its accepted medical uses and the likelihood of users to develop an addiction. Drugs with no accepted medical use and a high potential for addiction, such as heroin, are placed in lower schedules while drugs with medical purpose and lower risk of addiction, such as low levels of codeine in cold medicine, are placed in higher schedules. Whether you have been accused of possession, manufacture, or distribution, the type of drug in question plays an important role in the legal procedure. Possession, manufacture, and distribution of Schedule I substances carry harsher sentences than possession, manufacture, and distribution of Schedule V or VI substances.
It is important to mention that the illegal possession or distribution of methadone and other prescriptions that are used to aid in the fight against drug addiction is also punishable by law and could lead to possible imprisonment.
Although some states in the nation – including Maryland and Washington, DC — have begun to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, it is still considered a criminal offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The state also does not differentiate between different amounts of the drug, that is, a small amount is still a criminal offense. Whether you are accused of possessing half an ounce or three ounces, it is still classified as a misdemeanor offense. Marijuana possession is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a six-month driver’s license suspension on a first offense. For a second or subsequent offense, the possible penalties increase to those of a full-fledged class 1 misdemeanor one year in jail, up to $2,500 in fines, and a six-month driver’s license suspension.
The Benefits of Hiring an Arlington Drug Lawyer
When facing a misdemeanor or felony drug charge, the more informed you are about the charges and their possible penalties, the better off you will be. Criminal defense attorney Thomas Soldan has extensive experience defending drug-related charges in Arlington, Virginia. He can advise you as to the strongest defense strategies and draw upon his knowledge of the local legal system to guide you through the process. Contact his law office today for a free case evaluation.