Prince William County Drug Penalties
Drug charges are treated harshly in Prince William County as they are in the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia for a variety reasons. Drug crimes are often seen as gateway offenses to other things like property crimes and crimes of violence. In addition, it allows for a variety of different programs and non-conviction options should someone find themselves charged with a drug offense. A first-time drug offender in Prince William County may have a variety of option before the court on drug possession charges. The matters can get much more serious very quickly.
If you are facing penalties for drug charges in Prince William County, a skilled drug lawyer will be essential in building your defense, potentially mitigating or erasing these serious penalties.
Charges involving Schedule I or II controlled substances illicit felony penalties in Prince William County, even simple possession of them. This is very different from other states, including bordering states like DC and Maryland. For example, simple possession of a small amount of cocaine in Virginia is a felony offense and that may not be so in some other places. Schedule I or II controlled substances are seen as drugs abuse that have no therapeutic value, thus the possession of them is punished harshly. Possession of Schedule I or II controlled substances is a Class 5 felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison or in the court’s discretion of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine.
Motivation for Penalties
Drug abuse and the associated ill effects on the society that are associated with drug abuse are the reason for these penalties for drug offenses in Prince William County. They are punished very harshly in Prince William County, as well as the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia drug use is at an all-time high, and heroin deaths are frequently gaining more publicity. Therefore, Schedule I or II controlled substances, drugs of abuse, are punished harshly, because it is seen as the only viable alternative when individuals resist or do not make themselves available for treatment, or if they do not follow through on opportunities for treatment, if offered.
In addition, drug trade and drug distribution charges often accompany more violent and more criminal elements. Prince William County law enforcement officers try to protect their citizens from crimes of violence and robbery. All of these could be associated with drug crimes. By trying to stop drug abuse with criminalizing possession, the laws tend to go against all related types of behaviors and illicit strong penalties in Prince William County for drug offenses.
Some of the short-term consequences for a person arrested on suspicion of committing a drug crime are a criminal record of their arrest. The person may have a court date. They person may have to post a bond for their release and they may be under pre-trial supervision. The pre-trial supervision may include drug testing or other requirements. A person may also be required not to leave the Commonwealth of Virginia until their case is over.
There is a wide variety of things that may impact what a person’s short-term consequences are, including if a person has been charged previously, the types of drugs involved, the quantity of drugs involved, and the circumstances of their case.
For example, someone could expect that they will be under more stringent supervision with a higher level of bond for repeat drug distribution offense than if they are a first-time simple possessor. In addition, some factors about a person’s case may influence their pre-trial initial short-term consequences, including where a person lives, if they are employed, and whether or not certain factors, such as being under influence, occurred at the time of their arrest.
Long-term consequences are looked at if someone is convicted of the offense. If a person is simply charged, the long-term consequence is unknown until the case is adjudicated. There is a wide variety of things that may happen long term, depending on what the inevitable result of a person’s case is.
Contacting an Attorney
On a daily basis, officers arrest people for drug offenses and prosecutors seek to convict individuals charged with drug offenses. It happens every day in Prince William County. It is important to have a skilled drug attorney on a person’s side that defends individuals charged every day, helps them understand what their rights are, drives cases, gets good results for their clients, and helps their clients know what their options are to mitigate their potential drug penalties in Prince William County.