Penalties for Marijuana Possession in VA
January 24, 2020
The state of Virginia has strict laws regarding the possession of marijuana. While other states have made both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana use legal since November 2018, Virginia has not gone that route. It’s important to understand the penalties for this offense.
If you simply possess marijuana and it is your first offense, you usually will not receive active jail time. Instead, you are typically given the option to enter into the first offender program (“251 Program”), where you are placed on a period of probation, ordered to perform community service, undergo substance abuse counseling, pay your court costs, and possibly sustain a 6-month suspension of your driver’s license. If you fail to abide by the terms of the 251 Program, then a conviction can be imposed for possession of marijuana as a first offense and you can be punished up to the fullest extend afforded by law.
If you are convicted of possession of marijuana and it’s your first offense, you are considered as having committed a misdemeanor and can receive up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. A second offense is also a misdemeanor but is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor with penalties including up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. As with all drug possession convictions, you would also sustain a 6-month suspension of your driving privileges.
If the marijuana product found in your possession is hash oil, the offense is classified as a Class 5 felony, which is far more serious and comes with harsher penalties. These penalties include a prison sentence of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $2,500, and a 6-month loss of license.
If you have been arrested in Virginia for possession of marijuana, you need Rudolphi Law on your side. A Fairfax criminal attorney will build a strong defense in your favor. Contact Rudolphi Law immediately to discuss your case with experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney.