Marijuana laws around the country are changing fast. California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have all legalized the use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes over the past few years, and nearly 30 states have also legalized the medical use of the herb. However, while the cannabis movement around the country seems to have destigmatized the use of marijuana to a certain extent, if you live in a state like Virginia, you should be very careful.
In Virginia, it is still illegal to possess marijuana for any reason. If you are caught by the police, depending on the quantity you possess and other factors, you may be arrested, fined and in some cases, even incarcerated. Because the penalties can be so severe, it’s important that you understand your rights and the charges you can face if you’re caught possessing, using or selling marijuana.
If you are caught with marijuana in the state of Virginia, here are some of the charges and penalties you can expect:
Simple possession. If you’re caught with less than a half ounce of marijuana it is an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $500, the loss of your license for up to six months, and no more than 30 days in jail. First-time offenders are often given probation instead of jail time. A second offense can increase the fine to up to $2,500, and the jail time to a maximum of 12 months.
Felony charges. If you are found to be in possession of more than a half ounce of marijuana, you can face felony charges. You may be charged with possession with the intent to distribute, which if you are convicted, may carry a jail sentence ranging from one day to five years. For the possession of 5 pounds-100 kg, you can expect a felony charge that carries a five to thirty year prison sentence. More than 100kg is punished by twenty years to life in prison.
THC oils. Possession of THC or Cannabidiol oils that contains more than 12% THC can carry felony charges, which can include up to 10 years in prison, a $2500 fine, drug education classes and probation.
Manufacturing marijuana that is not for personal use can carry a sentence between 5-30 years and fines up to $10,000.
Trafficking. If you’re caught bringing marijuana into the state of VA from across state lines, you can face five to forty years in jail and fines up to $1,000,000.
Keep in mind that if you are convicted of a marijuana charge, you will also likely lose or have your driver’s license suspended and, in some cases, your civil assets can be seized. Also, the charges can remain on your permanent record.
Experienced marijuana defense attorneys in Virginia
If you have been arrested for possession of marijuana, we can help. At The NoVa Law Firm, our drug defense attorney have over 15 years of experience in Virginia Court drug cases. We understand how serious a drug charge can be for your future and will do everything in our power to protect your rights and have your charges dropped or reduced. For a consultation, give us a call today at (703) 352-9347 or contact us online.