Fairfax Drug Crime Lawyer
You don’t want to take chances with your future when you’ve been charged with a drug offense. Get the help you need to build your defense by working with a Fairfax drug crime lawyer.
Getting convicted for a drug-related crime can have dire consequences for your future. Everything you’ve been working toward in life is at stake, from your finances to your freedom to your future. In order to protect your best interests, you need to fight the drug charge you’re accused of committing.
Many people are unsure of how to go about this, but it’s critical that you don’t attempt to do so on your own. Depending on the drug and the amount involved, these crimes often have a great deal of stigma attached to them, and the prosecution will likely be eager to make an example of you.
If you’re accused of committing a drug crime, you need a powerful defense that can clear your name of the alleged wrongdoing. Priale & Racine, PLLC has extensive experience helping people overcome drug charges, and a Fairfax drug crime lawyer from our firm can help you develop the defense your case requires.
Understanding Your Drug Charge
Building your defense starts with understanding what you’re up against. Drug charges are complicated in that they vary substantially according to the specific drug involved, how much of the substance was present, and even the location where the crime is alleged to have taken place.
Controlled substances are broken up into different categories called “schedules,” with drugs included in schedule I being regarded as the most serious and ranging down from there to schedule VI. Your Fairfax drug crime lawyer will have experience handling cases that involve a variety of different drugs from all schedules, although these are some of the most common:
- Schedule I –Heroin, Psychedelic Mushrooms
- Schedule II – Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, Morphine, Opium
- Schedule III – Anabolic Steroids, Testosterone
- Schedule IV – Valium, Soma, Xanax, Ambien
- Schedule V – Codeine
While marijuana is considered a schedule I drug under federal law, Virginia state law has separate penalties for drug crimes involving this drug.
Help with Any Drug Crime
The specific drug crime that you are charged with will depend on how much of the substance was involved and what the police believe you intended to do with it. This is often based on circumstantial evidence, which is just one factor that your Fairfax drug crime lawyer might be able to use in your defense.
Drug charges in Virginia are generally divided up into possession, manufacture, and distribution:
- Possession – This charge means that you are alleged to have been caught with a controlled substance in your possession without a prescription from a doctor. It’s important to note that a controlled substance being in your home or vehicle should not be enough evidence to convict you of this.
- Transporting Drugs – It is illegal to transport controlled substances into Virginia. The schedule of drug involved, the amount, and any prior convictions can escalate this charge quickly.
- Manufacture and Cultivation – This charge is extremely serious and covers everything from growing marijuana to making crystal meth. The penalties can be quite harsh if the amount of controlled substance being produced leads the police to believe you were manufacturing with the intent to distribute.
- Distribution and Sale – It is illegal to sell controlled substances to others in Virginia. The penalties for this charge can be increased if you are accused of selling to minors or accused of distribution near certain areas such as public schools, libraries, and daycares.
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Virginia
A conviction for a drug charge will result in a number of legal penalties that will vary according to whether you are accused of a misdemeanor or a felony. Prosecutors tend to be very aggressive with pursuing the maximum penalty allowed for these crimes, and your Fairfax drug crime lawyer will be essential to getting the most lenient penalty possible, if not getting your charges reduced or dropped.
These are some of the punishments you could be facing:
- Possession of a Schedule I or II Drug – Class 5 felony with a sentence of up to ten years in prison, or twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
- Possession of a Schedule III Drug – Class 1 misdemeanor with a sentence of up to twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
- Possession of a Schedule IV Drug – Class 2 misdemeanor with a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Possession of a Schedule V Drug – Class 3 misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500
- Manufacture or Distribution of a Schedule I or II Drug – Felony classified depending on amount and number of offense, prison sentence of between five years and life, and up to a $1,000,000 fine
- Manufacture or Distribution of a Schedule III Drug – Class 5 felony, up to ten years in prison, and a fine of up $2,500
- Manufacture or Distribution of a Schedule IV Drug – Class 6 felony, up to five years in prison, and a fine of up to $2,500
- Manufacture or Distribution of a Schedule V Drug – Class 1 misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $2,500
Marijuana Crimes in Virginia
While the penalties for marijuana-related crimes differ from other schedule drugs, it is still illegal to possess it without a prescription and to grow or sell it. Possession or marijuana is a misdemeanor that carries up to thirty days in jail and up to a $500 fine for the first offense. If you are convicted of future marijuana possession offenses, they become class 1 misdemeanors.
Cultivation and distribution of marijuana carry steep penalties that vary according to how much marijuana is involved. Your Fairfax drug crime lawyer will help you determine what penalty you are likely to face and what the best defense to employ will be.
Fairfax Drug Crime FAQ
Getting convicted for a drug offense is an understandably frightening prospect, and you probably have several questions about what to do next. We’ve provided a few answers in the section below, but if you would like to ask additional questions, please call our office so that you can speak with a Fairfax drug crime lawyer.
Is it illegal to own drug paraphernalia in Virginia?
Virginia drug paraphernalia laws are fairly complicated. It’s generally not illegal to own things like bongs and pipes, but if there is any drug residue on them, you could be charged with possession of that substance. Similarly, it’s illegal to sell these items with the intent to use them with a controlled substance. Laws regarding syringes and capsule-making equipment are stricter, however.
Can I get a lenient sentence for a first-time drug offense?
Yes, the court will often grant a lenient sentence, especially if your first offense is for possession. You might be granted probation but be required to take a drug-education or treatment course, as well as submit to regular drug testing. Community service and employment requirements might also be involved.
Can I be arrested for possession of a prescription drug?
If you don’t have a prescription for the drug in question, then yes. Prescription drugs are controlled substances and are categorized under the same schedules as illegal drugs, with the same penalties and applicable laws.
Contact a Fairfax Drug Charge Lawyer
A drug conviction will result in far more negative consequences than just the legal ramifications. Even after you’ve served your sentence and paid your fine, you’ll have to deal with the social stigma and the fact that you now have a criminal record. Priale & Racine, PLLC can help you avoid this.
Our firm is dedicated to helping those in legal trouble, and we can help you out of yours. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Fairfax drug crime lawyer by calling 703-272-3922 or by completing the contact form at the bottom of this page.