Why Does Virginia Have Special Rules For Meth Drug Crimes?
Within the umbrella of drug crimes under Virginia law, there are special rules for offenses involving methamphetamine. Commonly referred to as meth, this controlled substance presents a unique danger. Outside of the health risks of using meth, this substance is also difficult to manufacture and produces many toxic fumes. Consequently, Virginia law establishes separate statutes and heightened penalties for drug crimes that involve meth.
What are the Virginia Laws Against Manufacturing or Distributing Meth?
The state laws against manufacturing or distributing meth appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.03. This section makes it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, sell, or gift meth. This section also prohibits the possession of meth with intent to manufacture, distribute, sell, or gift.
The punishment for a violation of Section 248.03 changes based on the quantity of meth at issue. For example, any person who violates this section with regard to:
- 28 grams or more of meth — Will likely face felony charges with a potential punishment of criminal fines up to $500,000 and imprisonment for five to 40 years. The mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for this offense is three years to be served consecutively with any other sentence.
- 227 grams or more of meth — Will likely face felony charges with a potential punishment of criminal fines up to $1,000,000 and imprisonment for five years to life. The mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for this offense is five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence.
What are the Virginia Laws Against Manufacturing Meth Around Minors?
The state laws against manufacturing meth around minors or disabled individuals appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.02. This section makes it illegal to knowingly manufacture or attempt to manufacture meth in the presence of:
- A minor under the age of 15 years old;
- A minor who is 15 years old who has a parental or custodial relationship with the perpetrator;
- A mentally incapacitated or physically helpless person of any age.
It is important to note that Section 18.2-248.02 includes attempted offenses as well. Stated otherwise, it does not matter if the perpetrator actually completes the manufacturing process. If any of the individuals above are present during the attempted manufacture of meth, it still qualifies as a violation of Section 18.2-248.02.
Any person who commits a knowing violation of this section will be charged with a felony. If there is a conviction, the penalties can include imprisonment for 10 to 40 years. This punishment exists separate and distinct from any other sentence imposed.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about Virginia charges for meth manufacturing or other drug crimes, contact the Leesburg drug crimes attorneys at Simms Showers LLP. We are here to help you today.