Why it is Important to have Legal Representation for a Marijuana Charge







Virginia laws regarding drug possession and distribution are harsh. Any drug offense can result in severe penalties. Therefore, it is extremely important to have legal representation to defend your rights.

What are the Penalties for Possession or Distribution of Marijuana?

A simple possession of marijuana charge is a misdemeanor, but it can result in a fine of up to $500 or up to 30 days in jail or both. This is for a first offense. A second offense can result in as much as a year in jail or a $2500 fine or both. Without an attorney you can be facing these charges on your own without a defense.

The sale of marijuana carries even stiffer penalties. Even a half ounce or less can result in up to a year in jail and/or as much as $2500 in fines. Additionally, if evidence such as cash, scales, baggies, or other items are found, you can be charged with intent to distribute.

Keep in mind that not only do you face jail time and fines, but there are other penalties. Currently in Virginia a first-time conviction of marijuana possession results in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for six months.

It is a felony in Virginia. If you have more than half an ounce of marijuana you are charged with intent to distribute. Convicted felons lose their right to vote and right to own a firearm. Just possessing more than a half ounce but less than 5 pounds can cost you as much as $2500 in fines or from one year to ten years in jail or both.

What Should I do if I am Arrested?

Virginia does allow people with certain illnesses to possess cannabis oil if they have a certification from their doctor. However, it only protects them from being convicted of possession, not from being arrested. If you are arrested and charged with possession or distribution of marijuana, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney quickly.

Sheryl Shane is an attorney experienced in all types of drug crimes and can help you figure out your best strategy to fight the charges. Time is of the essence. Therefore, evidence must be examined to ensure that your rights were not violated. There are several defenses that can be argued to help you get the charges dropped or reduced. Mistakes may have been made. Sometimes police officers forget to read you your rights. They may have unlawfully searched you or your vehicle. Sheryl Shane will make sure she has covered all bases to bring you the best defense possible.


Marijuana laws are changing rapidly across the nation. About half the population saying they think it should be legalized and taxed. However, the laws remain steadfast in Virginia and if you are arrested you could face some stiff penalties. If it is your first offense sometimes you may be offered conditional probation so you do not have to spend time in jail. This is only for people without prior drug convictions or a criminal history.

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