Breaking Down Three Virginia Drug Crimes Involving Meth
Within the domain of drug crimes under Virginia law, there are distinct provisions in place for offenses involving meth. This reality is partially due to the dangerousness of the manufacturing process for this substance. Meth possession drug crimes follow the same approach as other controlled substances. But for meth distribution or manufacturing drug crimes, there is a harsh departure from existing levels of punishment in Virginia.
- Meth Possession Drug Crimes
There are state laws against meth possession drug crimes that appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250. This section makes it unlawful to possess any controlled substance, outside of specific exceptions for medical and other approved uses. Meth is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-250 by possessing meth or other Schedule I/II controlled substances will face Class 5 felony charges. If convicted for this type of felony in Virginia, the punishment can include a prison sentence between one and 10 years as well as criminal fines up to $2,500.
- Meth Distribution Drug Crimes
There are state laws against meth distribution drug crimes that appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.03. This section makes it unlawful to distribute, sell, gift, or manufacture meth. This section also makes it illegal to possess meth under circumstances that indicate an intent to distribute, sell, gift, or manufacture.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-248.08 will face felony charges under Virginia law, which are punishable as follows:
- 28 grams or more — The offender faces a prison sentence of five to 40 years as well as criminal fines up to $500,000. The mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is three years.
- 227 grams or more — The offender faces a prison sentence of five years to life as well as criminal fines up to $1,000,000. The mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is five years.
On a related note, Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248 provides for a special penalty for crimes involving the manufacture of meth. If meth manufacturing resulted in damage or destruction to any property, the Virginia courts may order restitution for the actual or estimated cleanup expenses. In the event that actual or estimated expenses cannot be determined, the Virginia courts may order restitution in the amount of $10,000.
- Meth Manufacturing Drug Crimes
There are state laws against meth manufacturing drug crimes that appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.02. This section makes it unlawful for any adult to manufacture — or attempt to manufacture — meth in the same location as certain underage minors. More specifically, this section applies to:
- Minors under the age of 15 years old;
- Minors at least 15 years old who are under the custodial care of the alleged offender; and
- Mentally incapacitated or physically helpless individuals of any age.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-248.02 will face felony charges under Virginia law. If convicted, the punishment can include a prison sentence between 10 and 40 years as well as criminal fines. These meth manufacturing drug crimes are also subject to restitution in the event of damage or destruction, as explained above.
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