In Virginia, those convicted of drug crimes are punished according to what category it falls into. Posession of Schedule I and II narcotics carry the most serious penalties whereas possession of Schedule VI drugs results in relatively minor reprecautions.
Schedule I drugs like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or heroin are considered most dangerous to users because of the propensity for them to become addicted to the drug. State regulators also content that Schedule I drugs also apparently carry no medicinal value.
With Schedule II drugs, including phencyclidine (PCP), methadone, cocaine and methamphetamine, law enforcement consider these narcotics to also be highly addictive, but perhaps a little less than those included in Schedule I. These drugs also apparently have some acceptable uses within the medical community.
Under Code of Virginia § 18.2-250, anyone found to be carrying or storing any controlled substance on them or among their property without being prescribed can be charged with drug possession.
Virginia law allows for anyone found to be possessing either Schedule I or II drugs to be charged with a fifth-degree felony. If convicted of such an offense, the state requires that a defendant serve at least one year in prison; however, an individual can be ordered to serve as long as 10 years in prison on each count. Anyone convicted of such a crime may be assessed fines up to $2,500 as well.
Possession of Schedule III through VI drugs are all misdemeanor offenses that carry with them various jail sentences and fines.
Charges may be upgraded to either distribution or sale depending on how much of a drug or a defendant is found to be in possession of. A defendant may also be charged with drug manufacturing if he or she is in possession of certain materials or equipment used to produce such controlled substances.
If you've been arrested and charged with drug possession, then a conviction on your record for such a crime can greatly impact your job prospects and thus your ability to support yourself in the future. In learning more about the circumstances surrounding your arrest, a Christiansburg attorney can advise you of your rights in your own case.
Source: Office of the Attorney General, "Drugs: Overview," accessed May 11, 2018