• Possession of Marijuana (Va. Code 18.2-250.1) - Possession of marijuana for personal consumption in Virginia is a class 1 misdemeanor. A first offense is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine, and a mandatory 6 month loss of driving privileges. In the case of 2nd offenses, the potential jail sentence is one year.
• Possession of Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, PCP, Methamphetamine ("Meth"), Cathinone ("Khat"), Ecstasy (MDA or MDMA), LSD, Psilocybin (mushrooms), certain prescription drugs (methadone, Ritalin, morphine, etc.) (Va. Code 18.2-250) - These drugs are all controlled substances that have been classified as Schedule I or II drugs under the Drug Control Act. Possession of a Schedule I or II drug is a Class 5 felony offenses which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $2,500 fine and a mandatory 6 month license suspension.
• Possession of Anabolic Steroids and certain prescription drugs (Xanax, Valium, Percocet/Oxycodone, Codein,Codeine, etc.) (Va. Code 18.2-250) - Possession of anabolic steroids and certain prescription drugs is a misdemeanor. Depending on whether the specific drug is a Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V drug, the penalty varies from a maximum of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine for a Schedule III drug to just a maximum fine of $250 (no jail) for a Schedule V drug. There is a 6 month mandatory loss of license associated with these drugs.
• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Simple possession of drug paraphernalia, except for those items where a prescription is necessary to obtain them (e.g. needles) is not illegal in Virginia. However, police and prosecutors will pursue residue cases in situations where drug paraphernalia is the only contraband uncovered in an investigation. Residue cases are made by testing the smoking device or other paraphernalia for the presence of the narcotic. Police and prosecutors will then proceed on a possession case for the substance identified.
Sale/Distribute Drug Paraphernalia AND Possession of Controlled Drug Paraphernalia (Va. Code 18.2-265.3 & 54.1-3466) - These are Virginia's only drug paraphernalia laws. They ARE NOT simple possession and are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 dollars. Unlike a drug conviction, there is no 6 month license suspension associated with this crime. PERSONS ARE WARNED ABOUT THIS SECTION AS CITIZENS UNKNOWINGLY PLEAD TO THIS CODE SECTION FROM SIMPLE POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA. REMEMBER, THIS CODE SECTION REFERS TO SELLING/DISTRIBUTING PARAPHERNALIA OR PARAPHERNALIA ASSOCIATED WITH CRACK, HEROIN, AND OTHER SERIOUS DRUGS.
What is Possession With Intent to Distribute (PWID)?
Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID) Marijuana, Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, PCP, Methamphetamine ("Meth"), Cathinone ("Khat"), Ecstasy (MDA or MDMA), LSD, Psilocybin (mushrooms), or another controlled substance under sections 18.2-248, 18.2-248.1, 18.2-248.03, or another section of the Virginia Code signify a more serious form of drug offense than Simple Possession. For PWID marijuana, the penalty can be 20-30 years in prison. For other drugs, the penalties can include life sentences. Determinitive factors include weight, earnings, nature of the business, and persons affected.
|Schedule I||Heroin, Ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, GHB||Up to 10 years in prison; fines of up to $2,500|
|Schedule II||Cocaine, Methamphetamine (crystal meth) and other stimulants. Morphine, PCP, Methadone, Ritalin||Up to 2 years in prison; fines of up to $2,500|
|Schedule III||Anabolic steroids, Codeine and Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, Dolacet and others) with aspirin or Tylenol, Special K (Ketamine), some barbiturates and other depressants||Up to 6 months in prison; fines of up to $1000|
|Schedule IV||Many prescription drugs such as Darvon, Talwin, Equanil, Valium (diazepam), Rohypnol, and Xanax, as well as other tranquilizers.||Fines of up to $500|
|Schedule V||Codeine based cough medicines||Fines of up to $250|