What Should I Do if I'm a First-Time Offender Facing Drug Possession Charges in Virginia?

A person with their hands handcuffed behind their back.

If you’re a first-time offender facing drug possession charges in Virginia, it can be extremely stressful and confusing. When confronted with criminal charges of any kind, it’s important to handle the situation carefully and intelligently. You need to understand the rules of Virginia when it comes to drug-related cases and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights.

This blog post will provide insight into defenses for drug possession charges, as well as options available to first-time offenders charged with drug possession in Virginia, including Virginia’s first offender program.

Defenses for Drug Possession Charges in Virginia

Virginia code §18.2-250 makes it a felony to possess a Schedule I or II controlled substance and a misdemeanor to possess a Schedule III, IV, V, or VI controlled substance. These are very serious charges, but there is much that can be done to address them.

Often the prosecution will have a hard time proving that an accused person actually possessed the controlled substance (as opposed to merely being in the vicinity of it). Furthermore, issues often arise at trial about the illegal collection of evidence such that the trial judge may suppress evidence that might otherwise have been detrimental to the case.

The bottom line is that a skilled and aggressive attorney can identify these issues and secure the best possible outcome in your case. But even where the evidence is overwhelming and no amount of legal skill can carry the day, all hope is not lost. That is because Virginia code §18.2-251 provides for a first offender program, which can help first-time offenders who are facing a drug possession conviction in Virginia.

How Can the First Offender Program Help Me if I’m Facing a Drug Possession Conviction in Virginia?

The first offender program allows first-time offenders to avoid a drug possession conviction, incarceration, and fines if they complete a series of tasks.

Under the rules of the first offender program, individuals who have not previously been convicted of a drug possession offense (or previously participated in the first offender program) may be placed in a special status while they complete the following tasks in exchange for having their charges dismissed after 12 months:

  • Complete 100 hours of community service for a felony or 24 hours of community service for a misdemeanor.
  • Attend drug prevention class.
  • Be on good behavior.
  • Pay court costs.

Contact Our Experienced Drug Possession Defense Attorney in Virginia for a Free Case Evaluation Today

Whenever drug possession charges can be beaten, Shawn Cline, Esq. will fight them aggressively. But when they can’t be beaten, and the individual is eligible, sometimes the best option is the first offender program. If you’d like to know more about the first offender program, Shawn Cline, Esq. will gladly explain the process to you.

To learn more about The Law Office of Shawn M. Cline, and how we can help you, review our case results.

If you are facing drug possession charges, call The Law Office of Shawn M. Cline at (757) 209-2328 or contact us online for a free consultation. We’re ready to fight for you!

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