Virginia Drug Charges

Any drug charge is a serious criminal offense, and must be defended vigorously to avoid the harshest penalties. Many Virginia drug charges have mandatory minimums, giving judges little discretion on the sentencing. That’s why it’s important to get started right away to preserve all options in your defense.

Drug Classifications

Virginia drug charge penalties are dependent on the classification of the particular controlled substance based primarily on potential for abuse.

The commonwealth of Virginia’s classifications mirror the Federal government’s classification into schedules, as per the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Drug schedules are re-evaluated annually as usage and potential for abuse may change. New drugs are also added.

The 5 drug schedule classes are:

ClassDescriptionCommon Examples
Schedule IHigh potential for abuse. No currently accepted legitimate medical use for treatment.Heroin, Ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, GHB. Marijuana is a also considered a schedule 1, but it’s penalties are separate and not at severe.
Schedule IIHigh potential for abuse. Some highly restricted medical uses.Methamphetamine (crystal meth) and other stimulants. Morphine, PCP, Cocaine, methadone, Ritalin
Schedule IIIPotential for abuse less than Schedule I or II. Does have legitimate medical uses.Anabolic steroids, codeine and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, Dolacet and others) with aspirin or Tylenol, Special K (Ketamine), some barbiturates and other depressants
Schedule IVLow potential for abuse compared to Schedules I-III. Does have legitimate medical uses.Many prescription drugs such as Darvon, Talwin, Equanil, Valium (diazepam), Rohypnol, and Xanax, as well as other tranquilizers.
Schedule VLow potential for abuse compared to other drug schedules.Codeine based cough medicines.

Drug Charge Defense

We defend all types of drug charges, including:

How We Defend Drug Cases

Each drug charge is handled differently depending on the facts of the case and the seriousness of the charge. For a simple possession case, we may work to negotiate a plea that the defendant can live with.

For a serious possession with intent or distribution charge, we may use a barrage of motions, challenge every claim and make the prosecution prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

We’ve defended hundreds of drug cases, and have been able to save clients from severe penalties countless times. Don’t give up hope, even if you think you are guilty. Give me a call – We’ll listen to your case, review the evidence, and let you know what you can do to fight it, and what I think your chances are.

If you are facing any type of drug charge in Virginia, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Call now to schedule a no-obligation, no-risk, free consultation at (877) 439-2999. We’ll talk to you about your case, let you know what you are facing, and let you know exactly what we can do to help.


The Attorneys of

Related Drug Offenses

“Possession of firearms while in possession of certain controlled substances” (18.2-308.4.) is a class 6 felony itself, with  penalties of up to 5 years in prison for that charge alone.

More References:

§ 18.2-255. Distribution of certain drugs to persons under 18 prohibited; penalty

§ 18.2-255.1. Distribution, sale or display of printed material advertising instruments for use in administering marijuana or controlled substances to minors; penalty – Marijuana magazines/advertisement – Class 1 Misdemeanor

Drug paraphernalia – pipes, bongs, needles, spoons, scales, packaging materials

§ 18.2-255.2. Prohibiting the sale of drugs on or near certain properties – 1000ft school zone, 1000ft school bus stop, community center, public library, parks, or other public property – Felony with mandatory minimum of 1 year in jail.

§ 18.2-248. Manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, give or distribute a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance prohibited; penalties – Schedule I-II: minimum 5 years in jail. methamphetamine: minimum 10 years in jail.

If “not for profit”, it’s a class 5 felony.

Schedule III – class five felony.

Schedule IV – class 6 felony

Schedule III or IV “not for profit”, i.e. friend – class 1 misdemeanor

§ 18.2-250. Possession of controlled substances unlawful

Schedule I or II – class 5 felony

Schedule III – class 1 misdemeanor

Schedule IV – class 2 misdemeanor

Schedule V – class 3 misdemeanor