Drug Crime Lawyers Serving Virginia Beach and other areas of Hampton Roads
Aggressive attorneys protect your rights and work toward your best result
Drug laws in Virginia are very strict and the so is the prosecution. If you are charged with possession, and especially possession with intent to distribute, you can expect the authorities to pursue the maximum punishment allowed. In such a case, you need a knowledgeable and dedicated defense attorney fighting on your side. At The Stallings Law Group, P.C., our criminal defense attorneys have experience in drug crime cases from both sides of the aisle, as prosecutors and as defense counsel. We know how a prosecuting attorney thinks, so we can often exploit weaknesses in the state’s case to obtain a favorable disposition.
Drug crime penalties in Virginia
The penalties for drug crimes in the Virginia Code are set according to the type of drug and the amount seized. The lower the drug is on the schedule, the higher the penalty.
- Schedule I — Heroin, Ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, GHB (Marijuana is also a Schedule I drug, but has its own list of penalties)
- Schedule II — Methamphetamine, morphine, PCP, cocaine, methadone, Ritalin
- Schedule III — Anabolic steroids, codeine, hydrocodone, Vicodin, ketamine
- Schedule IV — Certain prescription drugs obtained without a prescription
- Schedule V — Codeine-based cough medicines obtained illegally
Penalties for simple possession are as follows:
- Marijuana — Misdemeanor carrying a jail sentence of 30 days or less and a maximum fine of $2,500
- Schedule I or II — Class 5 felony with a sentence of one to 10 years in prison
- Schedule III — Class 1 misdemeanor with a sentence of less than 12 months and a maximum fine of $2,500
- Schedule IV — Class 1 misdemeanor with a sentence of less than six months and a maximum fine of $1,000
- Schedule V — Class 5 misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $250
Penalties are much more serious when the amount in question is great enough to suggest trafficking. For example, possession of 10 grams or more of methamphetamine can result in anywhere from five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Our goal is to achieve the best possible disposition of your case
If the facts of your case raise doubt about whether you were knowingly in possession of drugs, you may have grounds to challenge the charges and either get a dismissal or have the DA decline to prosecute. It is sometimes possible to challenge a case on procedural grounds if the police only discovered the drugs after they violated your Constitutional rights. Examples include:
- Making a traffic stop without probable cause
- Searching a vehicle or residence without a warrant, permission or probable cause
- Executing a “stop and frisk” without probable cause
If the court refuses to exclude the drug evidence, you face a very difficult path forward. Most cases of this type never go to trial, but get resolved in plea negotiations. Although Virginia is notorious for its limited yet strict drug diversion programs, there are options for first-time and juvenile offenders that avoid jail time.
As your criminal defense attorneys, we negotiate aggressively to mitigate the damage of your arrest. Should a trial be necessary to obtain justice, you can trust our skill and our dedication throughout the legal process.
Contact our drug crime defense attorneys in Virginia Beach
In drug crime prosecutions, The Stallings Law Group, P.C. fights to protect your due process rights and achieve your best possible result. We make jail visits whenever necessary, and your first 30 minute consultation is free. Call us today at 757-422-4700 or contact our office online.