Prince William County Drug Lawyer
In Virginia, drug crimes range from simple possession to manufacturing or distributing drugs. Any conviction for a drug-related offense can leave you with a criminal record and potentially lead to jail time. When you’re facing life-altering consequences, a Prince William drug lawyer can help you understand options for defending yourself after you have been accused. Contact a defense attorney in Prince William County for help as soon as possible if you want an advocate on your side during the legal process.
Drug Classifications in Virginia
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, certain drugs and chemical substances have been classified as “controlled substances.” These follow closely with the Federal Controlled Substances Act. There are six categories of controlled substances:
- Schedule I drugs are the most addictive, have the greatest risk of abuse, and have no medicinal purposes. Heroin is an example.
- Schedule II drugs are highly addictive, but have some medicinal value. Morphine is an example.
- Schedule III drugs have a high risk of psychological addiction and a moderate risk of physical addiction. There is potential for abuse, but also a medicinal use. Methyprylon is an example.
- Schedule IV drugs are, medically acceptable and have a low potential of addiction or abuse.
- Schedule V drugs are less addictive and have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs. They also have an accepted medicinal use. Codeine with 200 milligrams per 100 millimeters is an example.
- Schedule VI drugs include substances otherwise not listed that are restricted to prescription-use only or that could have potential harmful effects but have a medicinal use.
Possible Charges and Penalties
The penalties for drug offenses in Prince William County vary depending upon both the type (which schedule) of controlled substance you are accused of having, as well as the amount of it. Larger amounts of drugs can lead to charges of possession with intent to distribute, even if you were unaware that the drugs even existed.
There are a variety of potential penalties for drug offenses, which include:
- Possession of marijuana (an unclassified misdemeanor) could result in 30 days in jail when a person is charged for the first offense.
- Possession, or possession with intent to sell, a Scheduled III, IV, V, or VI controlled substance (a class 1 misdemeanor) can result in up to a year in prison.
- Possession of a Schedule I or II drug (a class 5 felony) can lead to a prison sentence lasting between one and ten years.
- Intent to sell a schedule I or II drug (an unclassified felony) can lead to between five and 40 years of incarceration.
- A first offense for marijuana possession or for possession of a Schedule IV or V drug can result in a $500 fine.
- This charge for a Schedule III, IV, or V drug can result in fines up to $2,500 and for a Schedule I or II drug can lead to fines up to $500,000.
Simple possession is usually a misdemeanor, although felony charges for possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug is possible. Repeat offenses also result in felony convictions and warrant attention from an experienced drug lawyer in Virginia.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help Me?
A Prince William County drug attorney can assist you in exploring possible defense options that may be available to you. Some defenses could include:
- Entrapment: You were tricked into illegal actions.
- No proof of possession: You didn’t have dominion and control of the substances in question.
- Inadequate evidence: The prosecutor is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated Virginia’s drug laws.
- Illegally obtained evidence: No evidence collected in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights can be used against you. This is most common in traffic stops and questionable searches.
If you are curious to learn if any of these defense options are viable for you, please contact a Prince William County drug attorney today and conduct your free initial consultation.