Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana

While the stigma surrounding marijuana has faded much over the past 10 years, the laws in Virginia have not. If you are accused of intent to distribute marijuana, seek the help of Eric Clingan, one of the best defense attorneys in Northern Virginia, right away. If convicted, you could face serious fines, a criminal record and a lengthy prison sentence. A skilled criminal law attorney can protect your rights and help you devise a solid defense strategy.

What is intent to distribute?

Generally, when a person is found with less than an ounce of marijuana, it is deemed “for personal” use, and the penalties are less severe. Get caught with more than a half of an ounce of marijuana or more, however, and you could be charged with “intent to distribute.” Under Virginia statute § 18.2-248.1, “it shall be unlawful for any person to sell, give, distribute or possess with intent to sell, give or distribute marijuana.”

The penalties for “intent to distribute” increase substantially with the amount of marijuana involved. For example, if you are arrested for intent to distribute less than half of an ounce, you would be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. If you have more than half of an ounce of marijuana, the charge becomes a class 5 felony.

Factors that may affect the penalties you receive

If you face charges for intent to distribute in Virginia, certain factors may affect the outcome of your case:

  • If you have previous convictions for drug offenses
  • Whether there was violence used by you or because of you
  • If you were in possession of a gun or other dangerous weapon while in possession with intent to distribute
  • Whether the offense caused death or serious bodily harm to any person
  • Your level of cooperation with law enforcement officials
  • Whether children were involved

If you are charged with a class 5 felony for intent to distribute marijuana in Virginia, you face a minimum of one year in prison, but not more than 10 years. And your prison sentence could be on top of up to $2,500 in fines. However, if you pick the best defense attorney for your case, you may be able to reduce these charges or have them dismissed outright.

Experienced marijuana defense lawyer in Virginia

The NoVa Law Firm has vast experience representing clients accused of marijuana possession and intent to distribute. Call today at (703) 352-9347 for help with your DUI, DWI or reckless driving case, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with a Fairfax marijuana possession attorney.

Eric Clingan
About the Author: Eric Clingan
Eric Clingan is an experienced Criminal Defense attorney and the founder of the NoVA Law firm. He focuses his practice on defending residents of Northern Virginia charged with DUIs, reckless driving, drug charges, and other criminal accusations.