Marijuana Lawyer Roanoke Virginia
Roanoke Lawyer for Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Marijuana, even in the smallest amounts remains a criminal offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Possession of Marijuana is codified as Code of Virginia § 18.2-250.1.
Possession of Marijuana: Elements
Under Virginia Code 18.2-250, possession of marijuana is defined as:
- 1st Offense, up to 30 days and up to $500 fine
- 2nd Offense, Class 1 Misdemeanor, up to 12 months jail and/or $2,500 fine
- No person shall knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana
The government must prove possession of marijuana as follows:
- Knowingly or intentionally possess
- Ownership or occupancy of vehicle does not create a presumption of possession
- Possession may be shown if the marijuana was subject to dominion and control
- Knowledge may be shown by awareness of the presence and character of the substance through acts, statements, location, or conduct of defendant
Possession of Marijuana: Penalty
If this is your first offense for possession of marijuana, you may be eligible for the first offender program for marijuana possession. Here is how it works:
Virginia Code 182.-251 – First Offender Program for Marijuana Possession
- Deferred adjudication
- VASAP and substance abuse assessment
- Drug and alcohol free
- Up to 24 hours community service
- Efforts to secure employment
Under the marijuana possession first offender program, the charge will be taken under advisement for a period of one year, during which you must do the following:
- Attend a substance abuse assessment
- Complete a drug diversion class
- Remain drug and alcohol free
- Complete up to 24 hours of community service
- Drive on a restricted license for 6 months
- Maintain or seek employment
- Submit to fingerprinting at the local jail
Upon completing the first offender program, the charge will be dismissed. That way, your record remains clean for purposes of background checks, applying to jobs, seeking jobs, etc. Note, even though the possession of marijuana charge is dismissed under the first offender program, it is not necessarily eligible for expungement.
Get Marijuana Charge Expunged for Students in Roanoke
If you are a student in Roanoke City, Roanoke County, or Salem, and attend Roanoke College, Hollins University, Virginia Tech, or other area universities, there may be an option to get the charge completely dismissed without having to go through the first offender program.
Here is how a student case can get dismissed in Roanoke:
- First offense marijuana, deferred adjudication, revoked bond for 72 hours to serve jail, released, then dismissed, to allow for expungement from record
By taking advantage of the “72 Hour” program for Roanoke students, you will be able to get the charge dismissed and expunged from your record. That means it gets completely wiped from the court system and deleted from their files, thereby ensuring that it will not show up on a background check.
There are many defenses to possession of marijuana, and it is important to know your rights. For more information about what can be done in your case, contact my office at (540) 585-1776.