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Examining 3 Virginia Drug Crimes Involving Minors & Schools

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In the interest of protecting children from the dangers of controlled substances and cannabis, Virginia law criminalizes certain actions involving minors or schools. Although functionally similar to other drug crime laws, offenses involving minors or schools feature more severe penalties. To learn about these specific offenses, the following sections will examine three Virginia drug crimes involving minors and schools.

  1. Distributing Drugs to Minors

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-255 makes it unlawful for any adult to knowingly or intentionally:

  • Distribute any controlled substance or cannabis to a minor under the age of 18 years old;
  • Cause any minor under the age of 18 years old to help distribute any controlled substance or cannabis to other minors.

It is a felony to violate this provision of Section 18.2-255. Upon conviction, the penalties can involve imprisonment for 10 to 50 years and criminal fines up to $100,000.

In addition, Section 18.2-255 prohibits any adult from knowingly or intentionally:

  • Distributing any imitation controlled substance to a minor under the age of 18 years old;
  • Causing any minor under the age of 18 years old to help distribute any imitation controlled substance to other minors.

It is a Class 6 felony to violate this provision of Section 18.2-255. Upon conviction, the penalties can involve imprisonment for 12 to 60 months and criminal fines up to $2,500.

  1. Promoting Drugs to Minors

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-255.1 makes it illegal for any person to knowingly distribute, display for sale, or sell certain promotional materials to any minor. More specifically, the offender must know — or have a reason to know — that these promotional materials advertise paraphernalia necessary to consume controlled substances or cannabis.

It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to violate this provision of Section 18.2-255.1. Upon conviction, the penalties can involve a jail sentence of up to 12 months and criminal fines up to $2,500.

  1. Distributing Drugs Near Schools

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-255.2 makes it unlawful for any person to distribute, sell, or manufacture controlled substances at or near school property. In the same locations, this section also prohibits the possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, sell, or manufacture.

In terms of clarity, the provisions of Section 18.2-255.2 apply to property, buildings, and grounds of any:

  • Public or private elementary school;
  • Public or private secondary school;
  • Institution of higher education;
  • Licensed child day center; or
  • Public property within 1,000 feet of the locations listed above.

It is a felony to violate this provision of Section 18.2-255.2. Upon conviction, the penalties can involve imprisonment for 12 to 60 months and criminal fines up to $100,000.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you have legal questions about Virginia charges for any type of drug crime, it can be wholeheartedly productive to speak with a knowledgeable Leesburg criminal defense lawyer. Showcasing many years of combined legal experience in criminal defense, the lawyers at Simms Showers LLP can help you fight back against drug crime charges. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

SOURCES:

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter7/section18.2-255/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter7/section18.2-255.1/

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter7/section18.2-255.2/

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