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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > Drug Crime Penalties in Virginia

Drug Crime Penalties in Virginia

If you are charged with a drug crime in Virginia, the penalties can be very harsh. Virginia mirrors federal law in that it divides drugs into “schedules” based on the level of addictiveness and the amount of legitimate medical uses the drugs have. Schedule I drugs are the most addictive and have the most penalties and then it goes down from there. Marijuana is treated differently than other drugs and has its own specific laws and penalties, and will not be discussed here.

Penalties for Possession

Possession includes any drugs on or around you or your property that you have control over, so you do not need to have drugs directly on you to be convicted of possession of a controlled substance. For example, if you have drugs in the glove compartment of your car you can be found guilty of possession.

  • Schedule I and II Controlled Substance – Possession of Schedule I and II substances is a Class Five felony and is punishable by imprisonment from one to 10 years and a fine of up to $2,500. These substances include heroin, LSD, methamphetamine and cocaine.
  • Schedule III Controlled Substance – Schedule III controlled substances include codeine and anabolic steroids. The penalties for possession of schedule III substances are a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Schedule IV Controlled Substance– Possession of a schedule IV controlled substance is a Class 2 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. These drugs include Xanax and other tranquilizers.
  • Schedule V Controlled Substance – Schedule V controlled substances include cough medicine with codeine and possession comes with a penalty of a fine up to $500. This is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
  • Schedule VI Controlled Substance– Possession is a Class 4 misdemeanor and the penalty is a fine of up to $250. Drugs in this category are legal substances that can be used as intoxicants such as inhalants like amyl nitrate.

Penalties for Possession With Intent to Sell or Distribute

The penalties for proving that someone was planning to sell or otherwise distribute controlled substances are as follows:

  • Schedule I and II: Being found guilty of a first offense of possession with an intent to distribute Schedule I and II substances is a felony and is punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. A second conviction requires at least a five-year jail sentence but the offender can be given up to life imprisonment.
  • Schedule III, IV, or V: Violation of this section is a misdemeanor and can lead to a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Let Us Assist You with Your Case

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Loudoun County or anywhere in northern Virginia, you should contact an experienced drug crimes lawyer for assistance. Our experienced drug crimes attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP in Leesburg, Virginia can help defend you against the charges and/or  get the charges and penalties reduced.

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