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Virginia Distribution of a Controlled Substance

When your future hangs in the balance, your choice of attorney matters. The talented criminal defense attorneys at S&R Law Firm have the expertise, resources and experience you need to fight your drug distribution charge. Contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.

As leading criminal defense attorneys in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we’ve successfully tried a wide range of cases, each with their own unique legal challenges and complexities. Trust us when we say that in terms of drug crimes, one of the most severe charges an individual can face in Virginia is the distribution of a controlled substance.

This crime not only carries serious legal consequences, but can also have a profound impact on an individual’s personal, social and professional life. It can devastate their finances, tarnish their reputation and hinder their ability to secure and maintain gainful employment.

In this comprehensive legal guide, we will provide insights, explanations and legal strategies on the topic of Virginia distribution of a controlled substance, as defined by VA Code § 18.2-248. We will explore the elements of the crime, potential penalties and common defense strategies, as well as the importance of securing top-tier legal representation.

Need help now? Don’t wait until it’s too late to partner with a leading drug crimes defense attorney in Virginia. Contact S&R Law Firm online to schedule a free consultation or give us a call at (703) 273-6431 to speak with a compassionate legal professional today.

Distribution of a Controlled Substance in Virginia

Virginia regulates controlled substances under its own set of laws, many of which mirror the federal Controlled Substances Act. However, as someone accused of drug distribution, there are many state-specific laws you need to understand in order to effectively fight your charges.

According to Virginia law, distribution of a controlled substance involves the sale, delivery or possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Drug distribution is a serious criminal offense that falls under Virginia Code § 18.2-248. This statute defines the crime, outlines the elements that must be proven in order to secure conviction and establishes penalties for the convicted.

It’s important to note that distribution of a controlled substance in Virginia is not limited to what you might consider “street drugs.” The Virginia Drug Control Act places controlled substances (drugs, substances or precursors) in categories called schedules. These drug schedules are essentially a classification system by which controlled substances are categorized according to addictiveness, abuse potential, medical uses and penalties.

Proving Drug Distribution in VA

In order to secure a conviction, your prosecutor will need to prove specific elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Understanding the nature of these elements is helpful for both you and your attorney in dispeling your charges.

In order to convict you of distributing a controlled substance, the prosecutor will need to prove the following:

  • Possession and control. The prosecutor must demonstrate you had either physical possession of or control over the location where the controlled substance was found.
  • Knowledge. In order to be found guilty, the prosecutor needs to convince the court you knew about the presence of the controlled substance. This helps differentiate between accidental possession and intentional distribution.
  • Intent to distribute. In these cases, intent is extremely important. The prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to distribute the drug. They may base their arguments on the quantity of the substance, the presence of certain drug paraphernalia or even your criminal history, but much of this evidence is circumstantial.
  • The specific controlled substance. Charging, trying and sentencing you relies on the prosecution’s ability to categorize the substance you’re accused of distributing. Doing so is necessary for establishing the drug schedule.

Gaining at least a cursory knowledge of what the prosecution needs to prove can help you poke holes in the arguments and timeline. It may even give you and your attorney the chance to discredit their side of the story.

Penalties and Consequences

The legal penalties for drug distribution are severe and far-reaching. If convicted, you could face a number of state-imposed punishments, as well as personal, social and professional losses.

The severity of those penalties depends on various factors, including the classification of the controlled substance, the quantity involved and your prior criminal record.

Potential penalties include the following:

  • Criminal record. Depending on the specific details and circumstances of your alleged offense, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Either way, the charge will go on your criminal record and may affect you for years to come.
  • Imprisonment. Conviction of drug distribution in Virginia will almost certainly lead to incarceration of some length and potentially a lengthy prison sentence.
  • Fines. When it’s all said and done, you may be facing substantial fines that reach thousands or even tens-of-thousands of dollars. And that doesn’t even include other court-imposed fines and legal fees.
  • Probation. Probation is a common inclusion in sentencing, especially for first-time offenders. It may include drug testing, regular check-ins, mandated education programs, community service and more.
  • Suspended driver’s license. Depending on the details of your case, the court may order the suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Forfeiture of assets. In some cases, the government may seize assets believed to be related to criminal activity.
  • Federal implications. If your alleged distribution took place over state lines, you could also be looking at federal charges and penalties.

Suffice it to say that no one escapes from a drug distribution conviction unscathed. That’s why in the vast majority of cases, the best way to protect your future is by fighting your charges with a robust, aggressive defense.

S&R Law Firm: Trusted Criminal Defense Attorneys in Virginia

Distribution of a controlled substance in Virginia as defined by VA Code § 18.2-248 is a serious crime with severe legal consequences. Conviction will have a profound impact on almost every aspect of an individual’s life, affecting their freedom and ability to secure education, employment, housing and more.

If you’ve been charged with drug distribution in Virginia, it’s key to remember that just because you were charged doesn’t mean you’re guilty. A talented and diligent criminal defense attorney can establish doubt, refute faulty evidence, design strategic legal arguments and fight for the dismissal, reduction or refutation of your charges.

If you or someone you know is facing distribution of a controlled substance charges in Virginia, it’s important to act fast. Contact S&R Law Firm online to schedule a free case evaluation or call our law office at (703) 273-6431 to speak with a compassionate legal professional today.

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