Possession of Marijuana Lawyer
Possession of Marijuana in Virginia is probably the most common marijuana offense in Virginia, but it is still a criminal offense. It is prohibited by Va. Code 18.2-250.1, has serious consequences, and can drastically affect your future. If you have been arrested or charged with possession of marijuana, then you need a skilled Virginia Possession of Marijuana Attorney. The Commonwealth Attorney must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew the plant material in question was in fact marijuana, and that he or she knowingly had possession of, or control over the substance. This may also include what is known as “constructive possession.” Constructive possession means that even if the defendant doesn’t actually have the marijuana on their person or in a pocket for example, a possession of marijuana violation is still possible if the defendant had access to and control over the place where the marijuana was found. The theory of constructive possession is often used when marijuana is found in a car during a traffic stop.
A first offense is punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail, $500 fine & 6 months loss of driving privileges. A second or subsequent offense is a class 1 misdemeanor and can be punishable as follows:
- Maximum 12 months in jail
- Maximum $2,500 fine, and/or
- Maximum 6 months loss of driving privileges in Virginia
- Random Drug Screens
- Community Service
- Substance Abuse Evaluation & Prevention Education
Marijuana Possession in Virginia is Still a Criminal Offense
Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law are the Possession of Marijuana Attorneys that can help you understand the offense you are facing, the possible defenses of your case, and the consequences of a conviction. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to due process of law, including lawful search and seizure procedures prior to an arrest. Search and seizure issues are quite common in marijuana possession cases. In most cases, the search conducted by the police was conducted without a search warrant. A search warrant is not required is there is a legal exception to the warrant requirement. Virginia Criminal Defense Attorneys who specialize in this area of the law will best know if there is a defense to the search at issue. If the defendant’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable government searches and seizures were violated, then the marijuana evidence recovered cannot be used at trial against the defendant and the charges will then typically be dismissed for lack of sufficient admissible evidence.
Some defenses in possession of marijuana cases are procedural that involve the Department of Forensic Science or the prosecution’s option to proceed to trial in cases with what is called a “field test.” A skilled marijuana possession attorney knows how to best handle issues such as these. In some cases, the plant material looks like marijuana, but may in fact actually be a herbal substance or a synthetic substance. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt with sufficient scientific evidence that the seized substance is indeed marijuana, which may require sending the evidence to the state crime lab for analysis. The crime lab analyst then must testify at trial in order for the prosecution to make its case.
We examine the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest, whether the police violated the Fourth Amendment, whether the police had a reasonable suspicion to stop you, whether any warrant was supported by probable cause, and whether any other violations may have tainted the seizure or admissibility of evidence the prosecution will attempt to use against you at trial. In many cases, you can prevail on a number of defense objections or motions, even if you think you are guilty.
Richmond Possession of Marijuana DISMISSED
Our Possession of Marijuana Attorneys represented a client from Roanoke VA, who was in Richmond attending a concert at a popular local venue. The client was arrested for possession of marijuana in a nearby ally outside the venue. A small amount of plant material was recovered by Richmond Police during a search. The primary issue in the client’s trial was the admissibility of the plant material test results. We successfully argued to the District Court that the Commonwealth Attorney and the arresting officer did not properly follow what the law required for the plant material test results to be admitted in our client’s trial. The prosecution could not prove a drug possession allegation without evidence of a positive test result in this case. The Judge dismissed the case.
In some cases, the best option may be to plea bargain your case with the Court and/or prosecutor depending on the strength of the Commonwealth’s case and the unique circumstances of the needs of the client. Either way, a successful resolution to your possession of marijuana allegation can only be realistically accomplished with the assistance of an accomplished Virginia Possession of Marijuana Lawyer. Do not give up hope. Protect your rights and present your best defense.
Contact Us today for a free evaluation of YOUR case!
11/10/2015 | Updated 6/19/2019