Fighting a Marijuana Possession Charge in Virginia
Virginia state law regarding possession of marijuana is one of the strictest in the United States. Charges usually become felonies when the amount or circumstances suggest sale or intent to distribute. Marijuana charges can also be felonies in Virginia if the cannabis substance in question is hash oil. It is actually not a requirement to have marijuana in your possession to be charged, but only if the drug is found within “reaching distance” of the defendant or in the defendants dominion and control. This means it is vital to have experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney Fairfax VA like Rudolphi Law representing your case for a successful outcome.
What a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Do
The fact that a conviction for marijuana possession could result in a jail term means a defendant should seek legal counsel regardless how charged. It is a no-brainer that a defendant should hire counsel for a charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana or possession of hash oil because these tend to be more serious. However, defendants should also seek the assistance of an attorney for simple possession cases as well. There are specific rules regarding acquiring evidence in any drug case that qualified retained legal counsel could look for when navigating such a case. Having a criminal defense attorney means all evidence can be inspected for admissibility and legal rights to a full defense can be enforced.
Penalties for a Conviction
Penalties for a first conviction for marijuana possession in Virginia can result in a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $500. A second offense is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Moreover, a conviction for any drug possession or distribution charge will result in a statutory 6-month loss of the privileged to drive. Finally, any drug conviction can have long-term impact with respect to employment, public housing, and eligibility for some government services, not to mention generating a criminal history.
Never assume a marijuana possession charge is not big deal. It is a serious legal matter in Virginia. All Virginians charged with marijuana possession should contact the Virginia criminal defense attorney at Rudolphi Law for solid representation.