Manassas Drug Possession Attorneys
Over 30 Years of Experience
Whether you are holding something for a friend, experience a misunderstanding, or are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, drug possession can be charged as a serious crime in the state of Virginia. Depending on the circumstances, possession can even be charged as a felony. If specific types or quantities of substances are involved, a defendant can also potentially be charged with possession with intent to distribute, which carries even harsher penalties.
Our Manassas drug possession lawyers at Dischley Law, PLLC can assist you in defending against and overcoming these charges. We are committed to delivering results for our clients and will do everything possible to protect your future.
Unlawful Substances and Paraphernalia in Virginia
Drugs and unlawful substances are organized across 6 schedules, or categories, in Virginia. The specifics of your charges and the associated penalties will depend on what schedules were involved in the alleged offense. The involvement of Schedule I and II drugs, for example, will generally result in felony charges. Schedule III, IV, V, or VI drugs are typically associated with misdemeanors.
Possession of prescription drugs without a corresponding prescription can also lead to criminal charges. If you do not have a valid prescription for any prescription drugs in your possession or that you are transporting, you can technically be arrested and charged. This can lead to damaging misunderstandings, so be cautious when asked to carry prescription drugs or pick them up for a loved one or friend.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor crime in Virginia. Any instrument or item that could be construed as related to drug use, including gel caps, bongs, hypodermic needles, pipes, and measuring devices, can lead to charges.
Unlike many states, both recreational and medical marijuana remain illegal in Virginia. There are no exceptions, and the substance is not decriminalized: Even simple possession of marijuana can lead to maximum penalties of 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a 6-month driver’s license suspension.
Consequences for Drug Possession in Virginia
The extent of the consequences you will face in a drug possession case depends on the type of controlled substance involved, the quantity in your possession, and any other mitigating factors. If you have an especially large quantity of the drug as well as measuring instruments, your charges could be enhanced to possession with intent to distribute.
Possession of Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, which include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, will generally lead to felony charges. Maximum penalties include up to 10 years of jail time and $2,500 in fines.
Possession of Schedule III, IV, V, or VI drugs will usually only result in misdemeanor charges of varying severities. Substances in these categories include steroids, codeine, cocaine, opium, morphine, Xanax, Klonopin, and other stimulants or prescription drugs. Maximum penalties include up to a year of jail time and fines of up to $2,500. Lesser offenses can still result in hefty fines.
How Our Drug Possession Defense Strategies Can Benefit You
If you have never been charged with drug possession before, you likely qualify for Virginia’s “first-time offender” program. Completing this program, which generally includes submitting to random drug and alcohol tests, suspending your driver’s license, and conducting community service, can lead to the dismissal of your possession charges.
Should this program be unavailable, our Manassas drug possession attorneys will work with you to build an effective legal defense strategy. In a drug possession case, the prosecutor has the burden of proving you knowingly and intentionally possessed the unlawful substance. This can be difficult to demonstrate, and many successful approaches involve emphasizing that the prosecutor has failed to convincingly make their case.
Other potential legal defense strategies for drug possession cases include:
- Challenging who had actual possession
- Challenging the alleged quantity of the substance
- Challenging the identification of the substance
- Challenging the legality of the search
- Alleging law enforcement misconduct in their handling of the case
- Demonstrating that you had a valid prescription for the controlled substance
“I chose Dischley Law in part because they are a Veteran-owned firm, but also because of their competitive fees and the compassion they demonstrated as I described my case during the consultation”- C.G.
“After receiving a Reckless Driving summons in Fairfax, VA, I contacted a number of lawyers. I found my conversation with Dischley Law to be the most helpful and comforting.”- R.M.
“You will not find a more caring and proactive attorney in your search for effective representation. David gets right to the heart of the case, finds the defenses, and presents them at the right time.”- J.M.