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What are some penalties for having marijuana in Virginia?

Virginia has very specific laws regarding drug possession. If you are caught with an illicit substance, you can expect the court to follow the laws within the requirements set as standard.

Here's an example of what happens if you're caught with marijuana in the state of Virginia. First, if you have only been stopped for a first offense with less than a half ounce on your person, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and face being incarcerated for up to 30 days with a maximum fine of $500.

If you are trying to sell the drug, you could face much harsher penalties. For example, if you are selling within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus stop, you could receive a felony and be imprisoned for up to five years. You could face a fine of up to $100,000. Interestingly, this guideline does not have a minimum amount of marijuana listed, so even selling a tiny amount could result in these harsh penalties.

Hashish oil is another illegal substance made with marijuana. Possessing it alone is a felony that can lead to one to 10 years in prison. The fine is set at $2,500. Transporting more than a single ounce of hashish into the state is a felony and could lead to up to 40 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

With marijuana becoming legal in so many states, these extreme penalties may not stand up or be enforced as seriously as they were in the past. With a strong defense, you can take time to negotiate your case and attempt to have it dismissed or to have the penalties lowered.

Source: NORML, "Virginia Laws & Penaltes," accessed Dec. 22, 2016

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