How Are Virginia Drug Crime Penalties Determined?

January 17, 2022 | General

The penalty levied for a drug crime conviction in Virginia will depend on the type of offense committed, the schedule of the controlled substance in the crime, and the amount of substance in question. The court could also consider additional factors to determine the sentence, such as the defendant’s criminal record and others.

Common types of drug offenses include:

  • Possession
  • Possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute
  • Sale or distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Trafficking

Do First-Time Drug Offenders Go to Jail in Virginia?

Drug crime convictions could result in heavy fines, incarceration, probation, and more. However, you might be eligible for Virginia’s first-time offender program if you were charged with:

  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Possession of marijuana.

Prior convictions related to drug crimes prohibit a person from entering the program.

If the court determines you can participate in the first-time offender program, you could avoid time in prison. You must follow specific terms and complete the program successfully for the court to dismiss the charges against you. These terms could require you to:

  • Maintain gainful employment
  • Receive substance abuse treatment or attend an educational course
  • Submit to random drug and alcohol testing
  • Complete community service hours
  • Refrain from using drugs or consuming alcohol

You won’t receive a conviction for drug possession or have a criminal record for the offense if you satisfy all of the terms of the first-time offender program. The court will also dismiss the possession charges.

However, if you violate any of the terms of your agreement, you could face a guilty judgment on your record. The court might also require you to serve the remainder of your sentence in jail and pay a fine.

How Long Do You Go to Jail for Drug Possession in Virginia?

If you’re a first-time offender, the court might be lenient and allow you to participate in the first-time offender program. However, subsequent drug charges could lead to expensive fines and time behind bars.

The sentence you receive will depend on the type and amount of the drug involved and specific contributing factors.

The sentencing guidelines for drug possession are below.

Possession of Schedule VI Controlled Substance

  • Class 4 misdemeanor
  • Maximum of a $250 fine

Possession of Schedule V Controlled Substance

  • Class 3 misdemeanor
  • Up to a $500 fine

Possession of Schedule IV Controlled Substance

  • Class 2 misdemeanor
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Maximum of a $1,000 fine

Possession of Schedule III Controlled Substance

  • Class 1 misdemeanor
  • No more than 12 months in jail
  • Up to a $2,500 fine

What Is a Felony Drug Charge in Virginia?

A felony drug offense involves a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance, such as:

  • Heroin
  • Dilaudid
  • Fentanyl
  • Ecstasy
  • Oxycodone
  • Cocaine
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • Methamphetamine

Possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance is a Class 5 felony, punishable by:

  • Maximum of 10 years in prison
  • Up to a $2,500 fine

Contact an Experienced Virginia Drug Crime Defense Attorney Today

If you were arrested or charged with a drug offense in Virginia, contact Upton Law, PLLC, right away for help. Attorney Samantha Upton is ready to stand up and fight for your rights and your freedom.

Call now for a free consultation to learn about your available legal options.