Enhanced Virginia Protection Against Methamphetamine Production
The Commonwealth of Virginia makes it is unlawful to possess or manufacture methamphetamine. The criminal penalties for possessing, manufacturing, or trafficking methamphetamine mirror the laws for other controlled substances, such as cocaine or heroin.
Unlike other controlled substances, however, methamphetamine production poses a different level of risk to the general public. When a person manufactures, or attempts to manufacture, methamphetamine, the process involves numerous toxic materials and compounds. That is why Virginia features enhanced protection against methamphetamine production.
On top of other criminal laws, Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.03 provides for additional penalties for methamphetamine trafficking. Specifically, Section 18-2.248.03 applies to methamphetamine and derivatives of methamphetamine. Criminal penalties can apply if a person attempts to:
- Manufacture, sale, gift, or distribution of methamphetamine; or
- Possess with intent to manufacture, sell, give, or distribute methamphetamine.
The penalties under Section 18-2.248.03 fluctuate based on the amount of methamphetamine in question. Intended or actual manufacture, sale, gift, or distribution of:
- 28 grams or more of methamphetamine — Results in felony charges as well as criminal penalties that include $500,000 in fines and five to 40 years in prison. The offender faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three years in prison.
- 227 grams or more of methamphetamine — Results in felony charges as well as criminal penalties that include $1,000,000 in fines and five years to life in prison. The offender faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years in prison.
On a related note, the penalties above run consecutively to any other penalties under Virginia law. As a result, methamphetamine trafficking can result in even larger fines and longer prison sentences.
Minor Children & Incapacitated People
Virginia recognizes the inherent danger of methamphetamine manufacturing, especially as toxic fumes can linger or transfer to other areas. This danger is particularly prevalent for minor children and incapacitated adults, as both groups might not be able to perceive the risk involved.
Under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.02, there are special penalties for the manufacture of methamphetamine in the presence of minor children or incapacitated people. Section 18.2-248.02 applies to any manufacturer of methamphetamine whose production occurs in an enclosed space and in the presence of a:
- Minor child under 15 years old;
- Minor child over 15 years, if the manufacturer is the parent, custodian, or guardian of the child; or
- Mentally incapacitated or physically disabled person of any age.
In terms of penalties, a violation of Section 18.2-248.02 is a felony offense. The offender faces a potential punishment of 10 to 40 years in prison. Moreover, the penalties above run consecutively to any other penalties under Virginia law.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal help with methamphetamine trafficking or manufacturing in Virginia, it is helpful to reach out to a criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have far-reaching experience in the arena of criminal law, including methamphetamine trafficking and manufacturing. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.