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Portsmouth Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are the penalties for PWID marijuana in Virginia?

Although marijuana is being treated more leniently throughout the U.S., with some states outright legalizing it, it is still against the law in Virginia. A person who is caught with marijuana can face drug possession charges. With these drug offenses, possession with intent to distribute is taken more seriously than simply possessing it. Those who are arrested on these charges should be aware of the penalties they will face in the event of a conviction. Possession with intent to distribute is also referred to under the acronym PWID.

A person is not allowed to sell, distribute, give, or possess the drug with the intent to sell, distribute, or give. If there are charges related to this offense, the person will face certain charges based on the amount. Having up to one-half ounce will be a Class 1 misdemeanor. Having more than one-half ounce but five pounds or less will be a Class 5 felony. Having more than five pounds of marijuana will be a felony with a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum incarceration of 30 years.

Virginia pastor and school board vice-chairman arrested for DUI

With drunk driving a prevalent problem in Virginia and across the nation, it is no surprise that law enforcement is on the lookout for drivers who might be operating under the influence. A motorist who is stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, investigated, and subsequently arrested on drunk driving charges must be fully aware of his or her rights from start to finish, particularly since these allegations can happen to anyone regardless of their age, job, or station in life. In these instances, a legal defense is vital.

A member of a local school board in Virginia was stopped by law enforcement and placed under arrest for DUI. The arrest was made at around 1 a.m. He posted bail a few hours later and was released. The man, 43, was elected to the board two years ago after a recount. Right now, he is vice-chairman. In addition to being on the school board, the man is also a church pastor and has multiple advanced degrees. His alleged blood alcohol content and other details of the arrest were not disclosed.

Important points about sexting and related charges in Virginia

Virginia teens are constantly using their smartphones and other devices to communicate. While this can be used for positive means, there are also dangers. Some of these activities can result in being arrested and facing charges related to sexting. Sexting is when explicit images are taken and sent to another person. If juveniles take part in this, it can lead to child pornography charges. The number of teens who are taking part in this activity is rising, and it can have hefty consequences if there are criminal allegations.

It is against the law in the state to share, store or produce explicit or lewd images of a person who is under the age of 18. If there are child pornography charges lodged against an individual, it is a felony and can result in a prison sentence and the requirement to register as a sex offender for the rest of the person's life. Simply having the image, sharing it or taking an image - even if it was done voluntarily - can result in felony charges.

Driver faces felony DUI charges after crash kills off-duty cop

When there is a car accident in Virginia, the law enforcement investigation will include checking to see if it was due to driving under the influence. If an officer does suspect that a driver was under the influence, he or she could face drunk driving charges. Even worse yet, when there are injuries and fatalities in the accident, a felony DUI charge could result. For those who are placed under arrest after an alleged DUI crash, it must be understood that there is a litany of penalties in the event of a conviction. Regardless of the situation, everyone has the right to a strong defense and it is vital to have one from the start of the case.

An alleged drunk driving crash claimed the life of an off-duty Virginia police officer recently. The accident happened around 10:40 p.m., and as the officer was crossing the street with friends, he was struck by an automobile. The officer, a three-year veteran, died at the scene of the crash. Upon investigation, the driver of the car, a 72-year-old man, was placed under arrest for intoxication manslaughter.

Crimes and penalties for juvenile vandalism and property damage

During the summer in Virginia and throughout the year, it is not unusual for juveniles to get into various forms of mischief. In some instances, that can rise to the level of accusations of having committed criminal acts for which there are a variety of penalties. Allegations of destroying property can be lodged against juveniles. Understanding these crimes and what they entail is vital to formulating a strong defense.

Destruction, damage or vandalism occurs if property is destroyed, damaged, defaced or otherwise injured in a malicious manner without consent of its owner or the person who controls it. There are several laws that address the different types of property damage that can happen. Public buildings and materials in schools and libraries will be considered damaged if windows or doors are broken, if there is damage or defacement in a public area within the state Capitol, or property is destroyed. Town halls, schoolhouses, colleges, a city hall, a courthouse, or a place of public worship all fall into this category. If the damage costs $1,000 or more, it will be a Class 6 felony. If it is less than that, it will be a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Understanding drug charges linked to selling drug paraphernalia

Virginians arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia or selling these items must understand what these are and the consequences. Drug offenses are diverse, and there are many allegations that can arise from them. If, for example, a person is selling and distributing drugs, it is different from a person who is caught in possession of illegal drugs for his or her own use. Still, there are penalties related with all drug crimes and a defense is vital regardless of its details.

If a person possesses drug paraphernalia with the intention of selling it, it will be a Class 1 misdemeanor. This is true if the paraphernalia was sold while the person selling it knew or should have known that it was designed for planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting or doing numerous other activities related to its creation and use.

Man faces felony drunk driving charges after passenger death

Facing charges related to driving under the influence in Portsmouth and throughout Virginia will create fear and trepidation for anyone. This is worse when another person suffers injuries or is killed and those charges are increased to felony DUI. In the immediate aftermath of the arrest, the person will undoubtedly feel as if the world is closing in on them and their problems will result in their lives being changed forever. Regardless of the circumstances of the drunk driving charges, it is vital that legal help is sought immediately.

A fatal crash involving a UHAUL truck resulted in the arrest of a 26-year-old man. The accident happened shortly after 9 p.m. The investigation says that the truck was moving at a high rate of speed when it crashed into a utility vehicle that was parked. The passenger in the UHAUL truck, a 25-year-old man, was ejected from the vehicle and declared dead at the scene. The driver was also taken to the hospital for treatment, but his injuries were not life-threatening. After they investigated the incident, law enforcement placed the driver under arrest on multiple charges including driving under the influence and intoxication manslaughter. He was also operating the vehicle with a suspended license. This is his third incident for driving while his license was suspended.

How drunk driving charges can be fought in court

Summer is in full swing, many of us like to plan a vacation out to the beach or into the woods for camping, or even stay home and enjoy some local festivities including parades and fireworks. Many also like to host or head out to family or friend's barbeque parties. It is not uncommon during these parties to have a couple beers or alcoholic beverages.

Unfortunately, drinking alcoholic beverages can severely limit one's motor skills as well as mental abilities including the ability to think rationally. Add to it a day of sunlight while outdoors, and someone who has been drinking may not even be fully aware of how drunk they are.

Portsmouth teacher faces drug charges

Police in Virginia will be on high alert for those they believe are committing drug crimes, and they won't hesitate to arrest someone who has allegedly possessed or intended to distribute drugs. For example, a teacher from I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, was recently denied bond following arrest on multiple drug charges. The 48-year-old teacher, from Chesapeake, was charged following an investigation between Portsmouth Police and the Norfolk Drug Enforcement Agency stemming from multiple occasions of alleged heroin sales in both April and May of this year.

According to court paperwork, the teacher left school on May 18 and met with a buyer at a predetermined location to a confidential source, witnessed by detectives at the scene. This transaction was also within 1,000 feet of the Effingham Street YMCA. Following tests, it was determined that the material tested positive for not only heroin, but also Fentanyl.

What is expungement?

Many people in Virginia may have heard of expungement, but may not know what it means. Expungement, in its simplest term, is the "sealing" of one's legal record of an arrest or criminal conviction. While the arrest or conviction for most intents and purposes does not appear on a person's criminal background, it does not mean that it completely erased. It can still be accessed and used under certain circumstances.

Although the expunged conviction or arrest will not be accessible to potential employers, educational institutions, private investigators or anyone who searches through one's public record, it is still accessible to law enforcement and the courts. Even the sealed arrest or conviction can be used in the court of law during subsequent trials as a previous offense.