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Common Nuisances & Fortified Drug Houses Under Virginia Law

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In addition to laws against possession and distribution of illegal drugs, the Commonwealth of Virginia also prohibits the maintenance of common nuisances and fortified drugs houses. On an overarching level, these terms refer to properties or environments where illegal drugs are bought and sold. In order to dissuade property owners from maintaining these types of establishments, Virginia law outlines a series of strict laws and penalties, as outlined below.

What is the Definition of a Common Nuisance?

The definition of a common nuisance appears under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-258. Under Virginia law, this term refers to a property or similar establishment that:

  • Caters to users of illegal drugs;
  • Enables users to obtain illegal drugs; or
  • Facilitates the manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs.

Any owner, lessor, or similar manager who knowingly permits the activities described above may be subject to the criminal penalties detailed below.

What are the Penalties for Maintaining a Common Nuisance?

The penalties for maintaining a common nuisance appear under Section 18.2-258. Under this section, the typical punishment changes based on the number of previous convictions:

  • First Conviction — Virginia law mandates Class 1 misdemeanor charges, which are usually punishable by up to 12 months in jail and $,2500 in fines; or
  • Second or Subsequent Conviction — Virginia law mandates Class 6 felony charges, which are usually punishable by up to 60 months in prison and $,2500 in fines; or

What is the Definition of a Fortified Drug House?

The definition of a fortified drug house appears under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-258.02. Under Virginia law, this term refers to a property or similar establishment that is/was:

  • Modified from its original state to obstruct or otherwise impede law enforcement;
  • Used for the purpose of manufacturing or distributing illegal drugs; and
  • Subject to a valid search warrant.

In specific terms, the term fortified drug house can apply to:

  • Apartments;
  • Clubhouses;
  • Dance halls;
  • Dwelling houses;
  • Offices;
  • Poolrooms;
  • Shops;
  • Stores;
  • Storehouses;
  • Restaurants;
  • Theaters;
  • Warehouses; and
  • Other properties of a similar nature.

Any owner, lessor, or similar manager who knowingly permits the activities described above may be subject to the criminal penalties detailed below.

What are the Penalties for Maintaining a Fortified Drug House?

Under Section 18.2-258.02, it is a Class 5 felony to maintain a fortified drug house in Virginia. The normal punishment for a Class 5 felony in Virginia centers on a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $2,500 in criminal fines.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you are facing legal charges for maintaining a common nuisance, fortified drug house, or similar drug crimes in Virginia, it can be tremendously useful to consult with an accomplished Leesburg drug crimes lawyer. The lawyers at Simms Showers LLP have proven accomplishments and results in the arena of criminal defense, common nuisances, fortified drug houses, and similar drug crimes. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

https://www.simmsshowerslaw.com/the-first-time-offender-program-for-virginia-drug-crimes/

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Contact the Leesburg, Winchester & Loudoun County Attorneys of Simms Showers LLP today

Simms Showers LLP is conveniently located two blocks from the Loudoun County Courthouse. Our criminal defense firm offers a free phone consultation for criminal or personal injury cases. Se habla español. Call Simms Showers LLP for quality legal counsel today at 703-997-7821 or contact us online.

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