Virginia Man Sentenced For Distribution Drug Crimes
A Virginia man faces 13 years in prison for committing distribution drug crimes, according to an article by ABC affiliate WRIC.
Court documents indicate that this Virginia man was the subject of a long-running police investigation. In addition to staking out this man’s residence, police also sent confidential informants to purchase illegal drugs, which are referred to legally as controlled substances. Later, police executed a search warrant of the Virginia man’s residence and seized hundreds of grams of cocaine and heroin.
As a result this investigation, the authorities charged the Virginia man with two crimes:
- One count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute; and
- One count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Although this legal case appears to have reached its conclusion, it can serve as an excellent lens to analyze the Virginia laws against and penalties for distribution drug crimes.
Virginia Laws Against Distribution Drug Crimes
The laws against distribution drug crimes appear under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248. Beyond strict exceptions, this section makes it unlawful to distribute, manufacture, sell, or give any controlled substance. This section also makes it illegal to possess any controlled substance under circumstances that indicate an intent to distribute, manufacture, sell, or give.
Virginia Penalties for Distribution Drug Crimes
The Virginia penalties for distribution drug crimes also appear under Section 18.2-248. Although the penalties for this offense vary greatly, there are standardized punishments for offenses involving:
Distribution crimes involving Schedule I/II controlled substances — such as heroin or cocaine — are charged as felonies and punishable as outlined below:
- First Offense — Imprisonment for five to 40 years and criminal fines up to $500,000;
- Second Offense — Imprisonment for five years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000; or
- Third or Subsequent Offense — Imprisonment for 10 years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000.
Concerning Schedule I/II controlled substances, specifically, there are also heightened penalties for offenses involving large quantities. For example, any person who commits a distribution drug crime with respect to:
- 100 grams of heroin or 500 grams of cocaine — Can face imprisonment for five years to life and criminal fines up to $1,000,000; or
- 1 kilogram of heroin or 5 kilograms of cocaine — Can face imprisonment for 20 years to life and criminal fines up to $1,000,000.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about drug crimes or other offenses under the Virginia Criminal Code, it can be extremely helpful to speak with a well-established Leesburg drug crimes lawyer. With more than 140 years of combined legal experience and many years of experience in criminal defense, the results-driven lawyers at Simms Showers LLP appreciate the subtle nuances of fighting back against criminal charges. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.