Virginia Police Arrest Thirty-Six People For Various Drug Crimes
Virginia law enforcement officers concluded an undercover investigation by arresting 36 people for various drug crimes, according to an article by The Roanoke Times.
The underlying investigation and eventual arrests were the result of a collaboration between the Virginia State Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Martinsville Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and various other agencies.
On May 21, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office made an official announcement concerning these arrests. Apparently, law enforcement officers carried out the arrests the day before. In the process, officers seized:
- Various pills;
- Vehicles; and
At this point, additional details about the investigation itself are scarce. Based on the arrests, there clearly will be criminal charges for unlawful activity concerning the drugs mentioned above. It is unclear whether the charges will involve distribution crimes. Consequently, the following sections will explore Virginia laws against and penalties for possession drug crimes.
Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250 makes it illegal to knowingly possess a controlled substance, outside of specific exceptions for medical use. The punishment for this offense changes based on the type of controlled substance in question. Unlawful possession of a:
- Schedule I/II Controlled Substance — Is usually charged as a Class 5 felony with a potential penalty of imprisonment for one to 10 years and criminal fines up to $2,500;
- Schedule III Controlled Substance — Is usually charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor with a potential penalty of a 12-month jail sentence and criminal fines up to $2,500;
- Schedule IV Controlled Substance — Is usually charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor with a potential penalty of a six-month jail sentence and criminal fines up to $1,000;
- Schedule V Controlled Substance — Is usually charged as a Class 3 misdemeanor with a potential penalty of criminal fines up to $500; or
- Schedule VI Controlled Substance — Is usually charged as a Class 4 misdemeanor with a potential penalty of criminal fines up to $250.
Unlawful Possession of Marijuana
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250.1 makes it unlawful to knowingly possess marijuana, outside of specific exceptions for medical use. A violation of this section is no longer a criminal offense, but a civil offense. As a result, the punishment is monetary only; the maximum fine is $25 for unlawful possession of marijuana.
Vitally, note that any person who possesses more than one ounce of marijuana will likely face different charges. At that level, the alleged offender may face charges for possession with intent to distribute, in accordance with Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.1.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with Virginia charges for a drug crime, reach out to a skilled Leesburg criminal defense lawyer. The lawyers at Simms Showers LLP are eager to assist you today.