Prince William County Drug Laws
In Prince William County, as in the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia, individuals are prohibited from possessing certain controlled substances or drugs pursuant to the Drug Control Act adopted by the Virginia legislature. They are also prohibited from possessing marijuana.
The types of drugs that are prohibited and the seriousness of the offense depend on a number of different factors. In addition, the prohibition against the possession of illegal drugs pertains to those drugs that are obtained outside of a valid prescription. If someone has a valid prescription, for example for a painkiller, and they are later found to be possession of that painkiller, they are not considered to be in violation of the law if they have a valid prescription. If they do not have a prescription, however, they can find themselves in a serious situation. With this in mind, if you are facing violations of Prince William County drug laws and subsequent charges, you should retain the help of a Prince William County drug attorney who can help you to build a defense against your charges.
Prince William County follows the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and certain types of drugs that have been scheduled according to the Drug Control Act are prohibited from being possessed. It includes possession of marijuana and possession of certain synthetic drugs, as defined in the statute.
In general terms, Schedule I or Schedule II drugs are drugs that have no therapeutic or little therapeutic value and are often seen as drugs of abuse. The most common Schedule I or Schedule II drugs are opiates, including heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and other types of drugs that are considered drugs of abuse. Schedule III or IV drugs may have more therapeutic value, but still require a prescription to maintain and possess them. There are also Schedule V drugs that may be certain types of drugs that are obtained with a prescription, but otherwise, have a broad therapeutic value.
Possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance is a felony offense in Virginia. Possession of Schedule III, IV, or V will all be considered different levels of a misdemeanor offense.
The most common drug crimes in Prince William County are simple possession crimes, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution crimes. It is common in Prince William County, particularly simple possession and possession with intent to distribute for Schedule I or II controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, and opiates.
It is also common for individuals to be charged with possession of marijuana. These types of charges are common with individuals that do not anticipate that law enforcement will track down on them as hard as they do, because other states, including neighboring areas, have either legalized or decriminalized simple possession of marijuana. Individuals incorrectly assume that Prince William County allows marijuana possession, when it is a criminal offense to even possess residue.
There are a variety of exceptions to violating the unlawful possession of controlled substances regulations in Prince William County. The most common exception is that the drugs were obtained pursuant to a valid prescription by a licensed practitioner or pharmacist. There may also be an exception for individuals conducting research and other types of official business, such as law enforcement officers who may have to possess drugs for the purpose of transporting evidence or cleaning up a crime scene.
The most common exception is for drugs that are obtained pursuant to a valid prescription from a licensed pharmacist or doctor. If the prescription is validly obtained, the law has limited resources in enforcing drug possession.
If someone is possessing drugs pursuant to a valid prescription, they could present that when in possession of the drugs. If, however, they are doing things under the influence of drugs, including appearing in public in an intoxicated condition or driving a motor vehicle, they may have find themselves in violation of other criminal laws in Prince William County other than drug possession.
Enforcement of Drug Laws
Law enforcement officers are trying on a daily basis to crack down on a variety of common drug offenses in Prince William County. Drug distribution and the drug trade are a priority as are the possession, illegal use, and the illegal trade of dangerous drugs that have no therapeutic value, especially Schedule I or II controlled substances.
Unfortunately, Virginia is experiencing more frequent cases involving heroin and opiate addiction. Law enforcement officers have a variety of tools available to them to try and deal with drug abusers and individuals under the grips of drug addiction. One of the main tasks they have available is to try to stop simple possession of these dangerous drugs on the street level. It is common for drug investigations and law enforcement officers involved in a drug crime to start with users on the street, especially users of dangerous drugs, trying to work their way up to suppliers and other individuals involved in the drug trade.
If a person is convicted of a drug offense in Prince William County, they will have a criminal record. Virginia does not expunge convictions for a misdemeanor or felony. So, while a drug offense may give options that do not result in a conviction, if a person is convicted of a drug offense, in addition to the potential loss of liberty, fines, loss of driving privileges, and court costs, a person will also have the social stigma of a criminal record.
Criminal records and the social stigma regarding drug offenses can be particularly damaging, depending on a person’s current field of employment or situation in life. For example, students may find themselves ineligible for certain types of financial aid if found guilty of a drug offense. Individuals are on a visa status may have certain discretionary release unavailable for them. Individuals seeking to advance their employment may have a social stigma about them because of the negative view of employers for individuals convicted of a drug offense.