Virginia Beach is a popular spot for young people and vacationers alike to hang out and relax. Our city offers long stretches of sand, dozens of nearby restaurants and bars, as well as quaint sea side shopping. Tourists are a large part of our economy; local college students and members of the armed forces from nearby military bases are also frequent visitors on our boardwalk. However, it is important for party goers to understand that marijuana is illegal in Virginia and law enforcement will bring possession charges for even small amounts of the drug. Over our next several blog posts we will discuss everything local residents and out of town guests need to know about Virginia’s marijuana laws.
Marijuana possession charges cause problems for both Virginia Beach local residents and out of town guests
Law enforcement officials of Virginia Beach are proud of our community’s reputation of being a safe and family friendly place to visit. As a result, marijuana possession is not tolerated. These may not be the policies that visitors from other states are used to. Possessing any amount of marijuana in Virginia remains a crime even though other states allow medical use, are legalizing marijuana, or have taken measures to decriminalize possession. Throughout this series we will discuss a number of topics locals and vacationers need to know about in the event that they are found with marijuana on their person. We will be discussing:
- Your search and seizure rights, as well as when your rights are forfeited.
- How marijuana possession affects your future if you are in the military
- What you need to know if you are arrested and are an out of state resident
We will end our series with a wrap-up discussion, and expand on some of the points we have made along the way.
Marijuana possession in Virginia leads to significant criminal consequences
The consequences of a possession of marijuana charge are dependent on whether or not you are a repeat offender and the amount you are in possession of. Individuals are often charged with a misdemeanor if they have never been arrested before and are caught with a small amount. In such cases, you may be sentenced to 30 days in jail and may be required to pay a $500 fine. First time offenders will also have their driver’s license automatically suspended for six months. Jail sentences may be increased to up to a year, penalties become significantly more expensive, and the offense is placed on your permanent record, depending on the amount in which you are in possession.
You need an attorney who is experienced with the state’s drug laws representing you if you have been arrested for marijuana possession in Virginia. Do not hesitate when it comes to seeking legal advice. Contact our Virginia Beach office today and learn more about what your options are.