How Does Virginia Law Safeguard Against the Dangers of Meth?
The Commonwealth of Virginia features many laws against different types of drug crimes, ranging from possession to distribution or manufacture. But in the case of meth — which is notoriously dangerous to produce, releasing toxic fumes in the process — there are additional considerations. To dissuade the possession, distribution, or manufacture of this substance, Virginia created separate laws against and penalties for drug crimes involving meth.
Meth Possession Crimes Generally
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250 establishes a general prohibition against the possession of controlled substances, including illegal drugs. The laws in this context are based on the type of controlled substance in question.
Concerning meth, specifically, it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance under Virginia law. Code of Virginia 54.1-3447 requires meth’s placement in Schedule II because the Commonwealth determined that meth has:
- A high likelihood of abuse;
- Severely limited medical use in the United States; and
- A high risk of mental or physical addiction.
As meth is a Schedule II controlled substance, it is a Class 5 felony to possess any amount. Upon conviction for this felony, the perpetrator faces a prison sentence between one and 10 years, as well as up to $2,500 in criminal fines.
Meth Distribution Crimes Generally
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.03 makes it unlawful to distribute, manufacture, sell, or gift meth. This section also prohibits any person from possessing meth with the intent to distribute, manufacture, sell, or gift.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-248.02 by distributing, manufacturing, selling, or gifting:
- 28 grams or more of meth — Is guilty of a felony and subject to five to 40 years in prison and up to $500,000 in criminal fines; or
- 227 grams or more of meth — Is guilty of a felony and subject to five years to life in prison and up to $1 million in criminal fines.
Meth Manufacture Around Certain People
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.02 prohibits the manufacture of, or attempted manufacture of, meth in the presence of certain people, including minor children and mentally or physically incapacitated adults.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-248.02 is guilty of a felony. Upon conviction for this felony, the perpetrator faces a prison sentence between 10 and 40 years. Additionally, if meth manufacturing results in property damage, the perpetrator will likely have to pay restitution to the Methamphetamine Cleanup Fund. This fund enables property owners to clean up, remove, or repair the actual or estimated cost of damage from meth manufacturing.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you need legal help with drug crimes or other criminal offenses in Virginia, it can be tremendously worthwhile to contact a trusted criminal defense lawyer. The Leesburg drug crimes lawyers at Simms Showers LLP feature a sterling reputation in matters of criminal defense, including various forms of drug offenses. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.