Arlington Drug Possession Lawyer
Possession of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs and marijuana are all serious offenses. Prosecution of possession charges is taken seriously as well. If you have been charged with drug possession, it is vital that you consult a capable drug attorney. Consult an Arlington drug possession lawyer that can begin building your defense.
Defining Possession in Arlington
There are two ways in which a drug can be possessed. There is actual possession and there is constructive possession. Any item that has been scheduled is illegal to possess in Arlington. Most of the time, when with simple possession, they are going to be found on somebody’s person. With actual possession, law enforcement often looks at drugs in the person’s pocket, sock, bag, and so on.
To actually possess a drug in Arlington means an individual must have a substance that has been scheduled by the Virginia Drug Control Act on their person, so either a pocket, a hand, book bag on the back, or whatever the case may be and to do so with knowledge that the drug is, in fact, what it is.
To have cocaine in someone’s pocket, knowing that it is cocaine, to have heroin in their pocket, knowing that it is heroin, to have marijuana in the sock, knowing that is in fact marijuana. That is actual possession.
As an Arlington drug possession lawyer may explain, constructive possession is a little different. With constructive possession, someone does not need to have the substance on their person. It does not need to be anywhere near someone. It can be in their house, it can be in their car, it can be anywhere. It just has to be in an area in which someone, as the individual, exercised dominion and control over it, once again, with knowledge and intent to possess it.
Knowledge and intent to possess a drug means that the person exercised dominion and control over this area, and normally the person would have to have exclusive dominion and control over the area and the person knows the drug is there and that the person intended for the drug or the substance to be there.
Penalties for Drug Possession
On a Schedule I or Schedule II substance, a person would be looking at a Class 5 felony, which carries penalties that range from zero time in jail to ten years and a fine of $2,500. At that same token, there is a first offender program for a Schedule I or Schedule II substance; there are first offender programs for all substances.
A Schedule III substance Class 1 misdemeanor is 0-12 months and Schedule IV substance is a Class 2 misdemeanor with 0-6 months. Schedule V substance is a Class 3 misdemeanor with $500 fine. Schedule VI is a Class 4 misdemeanor and a fine of $250. If someone is looking at a marijuana substance or a Schedule I or Schedule II, with Schedule I or Schedule II, someone is looking at a one-year continuance, one hundred hours of community service, and substance abuse treatment. Once someone completes that task, the case against them will be dismissed.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession
A first offense possession of marijuana is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is special in that it only carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a fine of $500, and there is a first offender program, which means that if the person wants to take advantage of it, they will continue the case for six months, the person completes community service, goes through substance abuse, and if the person does the community service and the substance abuse, they will dismiss the case after a six-month period on a first offense simple possession of marijuana.
On a second offense simple possession of marijuana, a person is looking at 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. There is no first offender program for a second-offense as a first-offense. However, practically speaking, they are not going to put someone in jail for 12 months but a person can get up to 12 months in jail for a second offense marijuana. A qualified Arlington drug possession lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.