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The offenses for drug trafficking and possession

If you're accused of trafficking or possessing drugs, there are a few potential charges and sentences you could face. A good defense can help you explain yourself, so you can have a chance of getting a lesser penalty if you are convicted.

For a first offense, schedule I or II drug trafficking, manufacturing, distributing, possessing or giving can be penalized by up to 40 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. You can face up to five years in prison for trafficking heroin, cocaine, cocaine base or methamphetamine in 100g, 500g, 250g or 10g amounts, respectively.

The simple possession of marijuana is only a misdemeanor, so it has lesser penalties than other drug crimes in Virginia. It can be penalized with no more than 30 days in prison and no more than $500 in fines. Schedule I or II drug possession may be penalized with up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Selling or distributing drugs around a school can change the way your offense is treated. If you're on school property, the property of a state hospital, in a public or community recreational center or a public library, then you face a penalty of at least one year in prison and no more than five. A fine can be assessed for no more than $100,000. You can lose your license due to drug violations, particularly if you've had more than one or were traveling to distribute drugs, and you may face enhanced penalties for selling to users three years younger or more than the seller.

As you can see, the possible penalties for drug crimes in Virginia can be very severe. This is why it is important to being building your defense strategy as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can provide more information on your legal options.

Source: Virginia Tech, "Virginia Drug Penalties," accessed Sep. 06, 2016

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