Consequences of Marijuana Possession in Virginia
Simple marijuana possession is a misdemeanor offense in Virginia which could result in probation, fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
Types of Marijuana Possession Offenses
Virginia, unlike many states, treats simple possession of marijuana as a criminal offense (See § 18.2- 250.1).
First offenders in Virginia are offered the opportunity to complete a program and probation which can result in the charge being dismissed upon completion of probation. As a condition of probation, the court shall require the accused (i) to successfully complete treatment or education program or services, (ii) to remain drug and alcohol free during the period of probation and submit to such tests during that period as may be necessary and appropriate to determine if the accused is drug and alcohol free, (iii) to make reasonable efforts to secure and maintain employment, and (iv) to comply with a plan of at least 100 hours of community service for a felony and up to 24 hours of community service for a misdemeanor. Such testing shall be conducted by personnel of the supervising probation agency or personnel of any program or agency approved by the supervising probation agency.
First offenders and anyone convicted of marijuana possession also face a six-month license suspension in Virginia with the ability to apply for a restricted license. If you fail to successfully complete the requirements of a first offender program, the court will find you guilty of marijuana possession and impose potential fines and/or jail time. The punishment for a first time marijuana possession conviction is no more than 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.
Second or subsequent offenders face more serious punishments. A second or subsequent offense is a class 1 misdemeanor which means a maximum jail term of 12 months and/or a maximum fine of $2500. Additionally, you will face a six-month license suspension in Virginia and/or supervised probation.
Finally, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute or sell can result in serious felony charges and significant jail time in Virginia.
How can a Virginia defense attorney help you?
A Virginia defense attorney who specializes in drug offenses is vital to preparing a legal defense to possession of marijuana. Each case is unique and an experienced attorney will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Everyone charged with a possession offense has the right to a trial and to move to suppress the evidence. Speaking with an experienced defense attorney will allow you to decide what is the best option for you in the case. You always have a right to have a trial and appeal your case to the circuit court. Everyone charged with a crime in circuit court is entitled to a jury trial of their peers in which the jury must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to convict.
At Simms Showers LLP, our experienced defense attorneys Caleb A. Kershner and William B. Mann have achieved great results in numerous jury trials throughout Northern Virginia and are available to speak with you and answer your specific questions. Please feel free to contact us at (703) 771-4671.