Virginia Police Arrest 10 For Multiple Drug Crimes
Multiple law enforcement agencies collaborated to arrest 10 people for multiple drug crimes, including unlawful possession and distribution, according to an article by The Free Lance-Star.
According to reports, the Virginia State Police collaborated with several local law enforcement agencies and the Naval Investigative Service to complete these arrests after approximately a seven-month investigation.
Although further arrests are expected in this case, the authorities have already charged the 10 suspects in question with unlawful possession and distribution of cocaine, meth, and heroin. While this situation continues to develop in legal circles, it seems appropriate to review the Virginia laws against and penalties for unlawful possession and distribution of controlled substances.
Possession Drug Crimes in Virginia
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250 details the state laws against possession of controlled substances. Outside of a few narrowly construed exceptions, such as medicinal use, it is illegal to possess a controlled substance under Virginia law.
Section 18.2-250 also outlines the penalty for unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Virginia. The punishment does fluctuate based on various circumstances, including the type of controlled substance in question.
For controlled substances classified under Schedule I/II — including the substances at issue in this case, namely cocaine, meth, and heroin — unlawful possession is punishable as a Class 5 felony.
Upon conviction for a Class 5 felony in Virginia, the penalties can include a prison sentence between one and 10 years as well as criminal fines up to $2,500.
Distribution Drug Crimes in Virginia
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248 provides the state laws against distribution of controlled substances. As with unlawful possession, there are a few exceptions. Generally, however, it is illegal to distribute, manufacture, or transfer a controlled substance under Virginia law.
In addition, Section 18.2-248 also makes it unlawful to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, manufacture, or transfer. This offense is referred to as possession with intent and is punished in the same way as other distribution crimes. In other words, it does not matter if a distribution crime is ultimately successful: Virginia may punish intent to distribute the same way.
Section 18.2-248 also describes the penalty for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance in Virginia. For controlled substances classified under Schedule I/II, unlawful distribution is punishable follows:
- First Offense — Charged as a felony and punishable by a prison sentence between five and 40 years as well as criminal fines up to $500,000;
- Second Offense — Charged as a felony and punishable by a prison sentence of five years to life as well as criminal fines up to $500,000; or
- Third or Subsequent Offense — Charged as a felony and punishable by a prison sentence of 10 years to life as well as criminal fines up to $500,000.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with Virginia charges for a drug crime, reach out to Simms Showers LLP. Our Leesburg drug crime attorneys are eager to assist you with your case.