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First-Time Drug Offenders May Get Relief with A 251 Disposition

Virginia has a unique probation program available to first-time offenders charged with drug possession.

Called a 251 Disposition, this is a special type of probation that takes into account the fact that you've never been in trouble with the law before -- and can ultimately leave you without a conviction on your record if you successfully complete the program.

In order to have your case dismissed after a 251 Disposition, there are certain requirements you have to fulfill:

-- You have to complete a drug and/or alcohol treatment program, as ordered by the court.

-- You will have your license suspended for a period of six months, although there are some exceptions that will allow you limited driving privileges to work, school or doctor's appointments.

-- You have to submit to random and scheduled testing for the duration of the 251 probation.

-- You have to remain free of drugs and/or alcohol during the entire time period. Even one violation could destroy your ability to successfully complete the program.

-- You have to find and maintain employment (or at least show the judge that you are consistently trying to obtain employment).

-- You will have to complete a certain number of hours of community service, as directed by the court. Often, the community service will have something to do with drug addiction or alcoholism, in order to drive home the message that this is something to avoid.

While a 251 Disposition sounds great compared to a conviction, it's important to remember that it won't erase the charge from your record -- and it isn't the same as a "not guilty" verdict. If you are concerned about the possible consequences of a 251 Disposition on your future career, education or immigration opportunities, you should discuss your other options (including a trial) with an attorney.

If you've been charged with drug possession, you need aggressive legal representation who will keep your best interests in mind. For more information on how our firm can help you, please visit our web page.