You may have dabbled in drugs at a party with friends or while relaxing alone at home, thinking there is not much harm in trying something new or unwinding after a long day. Still, the possession, distribution and manufacturing of controlled substances in Virginia are illegal, and those convicted of drug crimes could find their lives turned upside down as a result.
Three types of drug crimes in Virginia
Virginia law recognizes three broad types of drug crimes. Drug possession is a crime in Virginia. If you possess a controlled substance and you do not have a lawful prescription for that substance, you could be charged with drug possession.
Drug distribution is also a crime in Virginia. If you in any way sell, give away or deliver a controlled substance to someone else, you could be charged with drug distribution. Sometimes factors such as how much of a controlled substance you possess can lead to charges of drug distribution.
Finally, drug manufacturing is a crime in Virginia. If you produce a controlled substance or possess the items needed to make a controlled substance and intend to manufacture the final product, you could be charged with drug manufacturing.
Drug schedules in Virginia
The penalties for drug possession, drug distribution and drug manufacturing depend in part on what “schedule” the drug at issue falls under. Controlled substances are classified under one of five categories under Virginia law.
For example, Schedule I drugs are considered highly addictive and do not have any acceptable medical purpose. Schedule II drugs are highly addictive but do have an acceptable medical purpose. Schedule III drugs are not as addictive as Schedule II drugs and do have an acceptable medical purpose. Schedule IV drugs are not as addictive as Schedule IV drugs. Finally, Schedule V drugs have the lowest propensity for addiction and have an acceptable medical purpose.
Being charged with a drug crime can have a huge impact on your personal and professional reputation. Even if you did not intend to cause any harm due to your drug use, drug crimes will be swiftly prosecuted in Virginia. You will want to counter drug charges with an appropriate defense to protect your freedom and your future.