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Drug penalties in Virginia vary by class

If you're accused of a drug crime, it's important that you're able to stand up for yourself. It's also wise to know what kind of penalties you could face, so you can work to reduce those charges.

In Virginia, there are several kinds of drug penalties if you're caught with them in your possession. For instance, if you traffic drugs in certain quantities, you may be able to be punished with imprisonment for between five years and life. You could even be fined up to a million dollars. For example, if you traffic 250 grams of cocaine or 10 grams or more of methamphetamine, you could look at life in prison as a potential penalty.

The possession of a drug is treated differently. For instance, if you are caught with marijuana, you can't be fined more than $500 and won't be placed in jail for any longer than 30 days by the rules of the Virginian courts. Schedule VI drug possession is penalized by a fine of no more than $250. In most cases, possession leads to a misdemeanor, unless you possess a Schedule I or II drug, which can be a Class 5 Felony.

Marijuana rules vary from those of other drugs. If you have more than a half ounce of marijuana that you sell, you can face up to 10 years in prison and be fined up to $2,500. However, if you have less than a half ounce that you're intending to distribute or possess, then you could be imprisoned for less than a year and fined only up to $2,500.

Source: Hr.Vt.edu, "Virginia Drug Penalties," accessed March 22, 2016

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