FAQs About Drug Laws In Virginia
What Determines Whether A Drug Charge Is Going To Be Considered A Misdemeanor Or A Felony In Virginia?
Whether a drug charge will be a misdemeanor or felony, primarily depends on the classification of the drug and the amount. Marijuana is typically going to be a misdemeanor charge. When considering personal use, a joint, a blunt or a couple of baggies is going to be a misdemeanor charge when present in small amounts. However, any of the high schedule drugs such as cocaine, heroin, PCP are always going to be felony charges just by their nature.
Marijuana possession can also be a felony, if a person possesses it with the intention to distribute more than one-half ounce of the drug. In that case, the penalties go up depending on how much marijuana the person has from that point.
Another thing taken into account when it comes to the type of charge is the packaging. Possession with Intent to Distribute may be charged where you’re not dealing with a large amount of marijuana but individual small baggies are found along with other things, that would indicate someone might be involved in a drug trade; typically a digital scale, large amounts of cash, grinders, a client list and packaging materials can also lead to a felony distribution charge.
How Is Unlawful Controlled Substance Actually Defined By The Law?
In the Code of Virginia, under code section 54.1-3401, the definition is rather simple. It’s defined as a drug or substance listed in schedules I through VI of the Virginia Drug Control Act. When you go through the Virginia Drug Control Act, the outline lists fixed classifications of different types of drugs or substances; alcohol and tobacco are excluded from the definition of a controlled substance. Alcohol and tobacco have their own unique set of laws that are located elsewhere in the Code of Virginia.
What Are The Schedules Of Controlled Substances Under Virginia law?
There are six schedules of controlled substances. They are all numbered I through VI.
- Schedule I are substances with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Examples of Schedule I controlled substances are LSD and Heroin.
- Schedule II are drugs or substances that have a high potential for abuse and severe dependence but they have a medically accepted use. Examples Schedule II controlled substances are cocaine, methadone and methamphetamines.
- Schedule III drugs have less potential for abuse than Class II but they also have a potential for moderate abuse and have a medically accepted use. Examples of Schedule III controlled substances are anabolic steroids and codeine.
- Schedule IV drugs have a less potential for abuse than Class III drugs. They have a limited potential for dependency and they are accepted in medical treatment. Examples of Schedule IV controlled substances are Xanax, Valium, sedatives and other tranquilizers.
- Schedule V drugs have a low potential for abuse, a limited risk for dependency and have accepted medical uses. A primary example of a Class V controlled substance is cough syrup and cough medicine containing codeine.
- Schedule VI are substances that are typically not drugs but they are used and abused recreationally. Toluene is typically seen and that is found in most paints, especially in spray paint, as well as nitrous oxide which is found in aerosol cans. These items are typically used for huffing. These substances usually have some type of age restriction from state to state or locality that prohibits their sale to anyone under 18.
If you need answers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Drug Laws In Virginia, call the BUGG LAW FIRM, PLLC for a FREE Initial Consultation at (703) 552-2462 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.
Get your questions answered - call us to schedule your Free* consultation (703) 552-2462