Drug Charges

A charge of possession with intent to distribute, or manufacturing a controlled substance is a very serious charge with severe penalties in Virginia. If convicted, you are often facing mandatory jail time.

Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to preserve your best defense opportunities. If you wait, there may not be time to file motions for discovery, motions to suppress, or thoroughly investigate your case.


No. Even a tiny amount of a Schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance can potentially result in a charge of intent to distribute. In Virginia, the police can charge possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance based on the circumstances and other evidence at the scene – cash, baggies, packaging, and/or scales. Once qualified as an expert in the field of drug use and distribution, the officer will testify that based on his or her knowledge, experience and training whether the evidence is consistent or inconsistent with personal use. It is vital to have an experienced attorney question the officer on the factors used to determine whether the drugs are consistent or inconsistent with person use.

Quantity Charge Penalty
Less tha 1/2 oz Misdemeanor Up to 12 Months in Jail
Half an oz up to 5lbs Felony Up to 10 years in prison
More than 5lbs Felony Up to 30 years in prison

Class Examples Penalty
Schedule I Heroin, Ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, GHB 5 to 40 years in prison, fines up to $500,000.For a second offense, up to life in prison
Schedule II Cocaine, Methamphetamine, crystal meth, Morphine, PCP, Methadone, Ritalin 5 to 40 years in prison, fines up to $500,000.For a second (2nd) offense, up to life in prison
Schedule III Anabolic steroids, Codeine and Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, Dolacet and others) with aspirin or Tylenol, Special K (Ketamine), some barbiturates and other depressants 1 to 10 years in prison
Schedule IV Many prescription drugs such as Darvon, Talwin, Equanil, Valium (diazepam), Rohypnol, and Xanax, as well as other tranquilizers. 1 to 5 years in prison

First time offenders.