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What are the different types of drug charges in Virginia?

Most Virginians are aware that if you are caught with illegal drugs, you could face drug charges and serious consequences at the hands of law enforcement officials. The penalties Virginians face will typically depend on the type of crime committed and the type and quantity of drugs involved.Drug crimes in Virginia breakdown into three major categories: drug possession, drug distribution and drug manufacturing. Drug possession involves the possession of any controlled substance without a legitimate prescription. Drug distribution involves the sale or delivery of a controlled substance. Drug manufacturing involves the production of a controlled substance without proper authorization. Possessing the chemicals to manufacture drugs can also lead to drug manufacturing charges.While all drug charges are serious, some crimes can have more severe consequences than others. For example, possession of marijuana can lead to a misdemeanor conviction. The penalty for this is up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. For intent to distribute a Schedule I drug, such as heroin, you could be facing a felony conviction resulting in anywhere from five to 40 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine.Protecting yourself from these severe consequences is critical when Virginians are facing these charges. A drug conviction can have a major impact on your life for years to come. A drug conviction can negatively affect your reputation in your community and make it more difficult to find employment. However, with the appropriate defense, you may be able to avoid these consequences altogether and continue to live a normal life.

Source: Virginia.gov, "Drugs," accessed on June 7, 2015

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