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Possession of certain drugs without a valid prescription can put you into legal jeopardy. The Virginia legislature puts drugs onto what are known as schedules. Schedule II drugs have a pharmaceutical use but also have a high potential for abuse. Possession of a Schedule II Drug without a valid prescription in Virginia is a felony under § 18.2-250 of the Code of Virginia.
Other drugs that have a lower potential for abuse fall into Schedules III through VI. Possession of Schedule III through VI drugs without a valid prescription are punished as misdemeanors.
Substances such as Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Adderall, and Xanax fall under these regimes and therefore can put you in extreme legal jeopardy. As a result, it is vital you have an attorney to protect your rights and livelihood.
Possession of Prescription Drugs
In Virginia, the possession of a Schedule II Drug is an extremely serious offense. A conviction under § 18.2-250 of the Code of Virginia for Possession of a Schedule II Drug marks a person with a felony record. This conviction deprives a person of their rights and creates difficulties securing employment. The penalties for Possession include incarceration for up to 10 years and a fine for as much as 2,500 dollars.
Under § 18.2-250 of the Code of Virginia, Possession of a Schedule III through IV Drugs are punished with a range of misdemeanors. Possession of a Schedule III Drug, for example a steroid, is punished with a Class 1 misdemeanor with a maximum of 12 months in jail. Possession of a Schedule IV Drug, such as Xanax. is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable with up 6 months in jail. Possession of Schedule V and VI drugs are punished with fines.
As a result of these serious consequences, Dischley Law’s attorneys will fight to secure your best possible outcome when charged with a violation of § 18.2-250 of the Code of Virginia. This result can be in the form of a “First Offender” disposition or negotiating with prosecutors for an alternative disposition.
As an alternative to saddling a person with a felony conviction for the Possession of a Prescription Drug, the Court may utilize the “First Offender” program. Generally, if this is your first time charged with a drug offense, you are eligible to have your charge dropped pursuant to meeting certain conditions of the Court.
In the “First Offender” program, a person will plead guilty to the charge in question but the Court will withhold a finding of guilt. Instead the case will be continued for a year and a person will be put on probation. They will be required to meet with their probation officer, attempt to secure employment, complete an ordered amount of community service and take drug screens. After a year of good behavior and meeting all the requirements of the Court, the charge will be dismissed.
Distribution & Possession with the Intent to Distribute Prescription Drugs
Law enforcement and prosecutors treat the Distribution and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Prescription Drugs very seriously. The penalties for such offenses are severe. If the substance falls under Schedule II, a person can be sentenced to not less than five years and not more than forty years of incarceration along with a fine not to exceed 500,000 dollars. If the substance is a Schedule III, a person can be sentenced to up to 10 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,500 dollars. A Schedule IV substance can lead to up to 5 years incarceration and a fine of up to $2,500 dollars.
It is important to note that all of these convictions are felonies. Even substances that the mere possession constitutes a misdemeanor carries a much stiffer penalty if there is an accusation a person distributed or intended to distribute it. Consequently, a person charged with such an offense needs the best possible legal team to fight for their charge to be dropped or reduced.
Distribution offenses are generally involve the selling of a substance to a undercover police officer. Under those circumstances, we will review discovery to ensure that a person was not entrapped by law enforcement and thereby induced to commit a crime they otherwise never would have committed. If such inducement can be shown, we will fight to have the case dismissed.
Possession with Intent to Distribute a Prescription Drug cases require a different type of analysis. In those cases, it must be shown that the Prescription Drug possessed was not for personal use. An expert will need to testify that what a person possessed was inconsistent with personal use. Experts will point to:
- The number of pills seized,
- The manner it was packaged,
- The presence of paraphernalia consistent with drug distribution,
- Evidence located upon a person’s cell phone indicative of distribution,
- The presence of large amounts of currency,
- The presence of firearms.
As a result, Attorneys with Dischley Law will examine every factor and piece of evidence in possession of the Commonwealth. We will fight to prove that the drugs in question cannot be connected to a person or that the evidence simply does not support the conclusion that possession was with the intent to distribute.
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