Marijuana Possession Lawyer Blacksburg, VA for Pot Possession
While marijuana possession and use is now legal in a few states, it currently is not, however, legal in Virginia without a valid medical prescription. This applies even if marijuana was legally bought in another state and transported to Virginia.
As a Blacksburg marijuana possession lawyer, I vigorously defend clients charged with marijuana and drug possession not only in Blacksburg, but also those in the surrounding communities. I also defend clients charged with drug-related crimes in addition to marijuana possession, as well as other criminal charges.
Virginia Marijuana Possession Charges Are Serious
Marijuana possession in Virginia is a serious offense. A marijuana charge can also be escalated to an intent to distribute charge, which is even more serious, if evidence suggests that the person was involved in marijuana distribution. The charges can also be escalated if certain factors apply, such as if the person charged was within 1,000 feet of a school yard and certain other public places that are likely to be frequented by children. Potential consequences can also be more severe if a person has prior criminal convictions on their record.
Those convicted of marijuana possession can face fines and possible incarceration. In addition, a drug conviction can also be fatal when it comes to job applications, as the disclosure of a drug conviction can often disqualify a person for certain type of jobs (particularly those in law enforcement), or lead to all but disqualification for many other types of jobs (as many employers won’t entertain the possibility of hiring those who have drug convictions).
Get a Free Consultation – Call Me 24/7 to Get Started
As a marijuana possession lawyer for Blacksburg, I offer a vigorous representation of clients charged with possession, including:
- Fixed Fee Representation. It does not cost any additional fee if you wish to take your case to trial. It also does not cost any more to retain our services early in your case as opposed to a much later date. As a result, the earlier that we are retained, the earlier we can begin protecting your rights.
- Credit Card Acceptance. I appreciate that people are often in difficult financial circumstances. As a result, I and my firm accept credit card payments, so that you have a payment option to consider for the payment of legal fees.
What are the Virginia Marijuana Possession Laws?
The Virginia marijuana possession laws can be seen in Section 250.1 of Title 18.2 of the Virginia Code. Subsection A. specially provides that “knowing” or “intentional” possession of marijuana is illegal unless such possession is the result of a valid prescription for the same. An important defense to this section is that:
Upon the prosecution of a person for violation of this section, ownership or occupancy of the premises or vehicle upon or in which marijuana was found shall not create a presumption that such person either knowingly or intentionally possessed such marijuana.
Thus the prosecution must establish that a person charged under this statute “knew” that they were in possession of marijuana, and that such possession was not the result of a valid prescription.
Additionally, under Virginia Code Section 18.2-248, Virginia prosecutors are also allowed to charge a person who is in possession of marijuana not only with a possession charge, but potentially also with a much harsher “intent to distribute” charge. The prosecution must have sufficient reasons for a distribution charge, such as if the person was also in possession of scales commonly used to measure drugs or if bags of the same size amount of marijuana had been measured.
What are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Virginia?
A first conviction for marijuana possession in Virginia is punishable by a fine of not more than $500 and incarceration in jail for not more than 30 days. A subsequent conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor (punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and incarceration of up to 12 months). Possession with intent to distribute is subject to enhanced penalties.
If I’m Charged with Marijuana Possession, What Additional Defenses Might be Available?
In addition to those noted above, there are also other defenses that are available (which depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case), including:
- Unlawful search and seizure of persons on the street. The police do not have an unfettered right to stop and frisk people on the street for no good reason, or claim that they “looked suspicious.” Instead, they must have an articulable reason for frisking a person that would lead a reasonable person to suspect that that the person searched was engaged in unlawful activity.
- Illegal vehicle stop and searches. Just as police may not stop and frisk someone without a legally-justifiable cause to do so, they also may not stop a vehicle without a proper reason, such as if the person was speeding or engaged in some other traffic infraction. They may also not search the inside of a vehicle without consent, unless they have a valid reason for doing so (such as if they can see drugs in plain sight).
- Searches of homes and other dwellings. In most cases, the police are not entitled to search a home or other dwelling without a warrant (there are some exceptions, such as when the police encounter illegal drugs in the course of another matter, like a domestic dispute).
In these types of situations, if the search was illegal, or if a warrant was not valid, then normally the search and seizure of marijuana or other drugs will be inadmissible. If this is the case, then all changes must be dismissed.
There are many other situations in which charges must be dismissed, including those involving other illegalities on behalf of law enforcement, or situations in which the admissible evidence does not support a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In representing those charge in Virginia with marijuana possession and other crimes, I vigorously oppose the prosecution’s efforts to convict, their theories of a case, and the admission of evidence that they wish to introduce at trial.
Helping Protect Your Rights
As soon as I am retained, I and my firm can begin vigorously protecting your rights.
As an experienced Blacksburg marijuana possession lawyer, I know that prosecutors have much leeway in negotiating marijuana possession charges. In general, I believe that they do not consider that it is a wise use of the state’s limited resources in spending considerable efforts to prosecute those in possession of small amounts of marijuana and who otherwise do not have much more significant criminal charges or serious past convictions.
As a result, while I cannot guaranty an outcome for any matter, I have experience in getting those charged with criminal charges much better outcomes than the potential punishments prescribed under Virginia’s criminal code, especially for clients who do not have any previous convictions.
In the interim, I would suggest the following if you’ve been charged with marijuana possession or any other crime:
- You have the right to remain silent – please invoke this right. Don’t talk to the prosecutors or police – they are not there to help you. Retaining a lawyer is the best step so that you have someone on your side who can communicate with the prosecution on your behalf without jeopardizing your rights.
- Don’t make any postings on social media about your charge. Prosecutors can (and often will) search social media to see if a defendant may offer any details about a criminal charge which can be used against them.
- Don’t talk to your family or friends about the details of your criminal charge. Prosecutors can also call friends (in particular) to testify against a criminal defendant.
Call Me Today to Get Started
No attorney can ever promise a not guilty verdict or the dismissal of charges. I can, however, offer all clients a dedicated representation and the experience of more than 30 years of legal practice.
Please call the law offices of Mark T. Hurt office to schedule a free consultation about your case.