This is the final post in my series on what residents and out of town guests need to know about marijuana possession in Virginia. I began this series so that individuals who are traveling to Virginia from states with a different legal stance on marijuana can be prepared to abide by our state’s laws. With the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado, and with the number of states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, many people are confused about marijuana laws from state to state.
Marijuana laws that vary by state cause confusion for many people who frequently travel
Throughout this series, I have focused on topics that are relevant to individuals who are not readily familiar with Virginia state laws. In my first post I discussed the penalties the Commonwealth of Virginia will impose for misdemeanor marijuana possession. In this article, I discussed the fines, privileges, and jail time that can be imposed, even for less than half an ounce of weed. If you have a medical marijuana card that has been issued by another state, the prescription will not be honored in Virginia and you may be found guilty of possession. Once you are arrested, you will require the services of an attorney who will frequently use search and seizure law to build a viable defense. In my post on this topic, I explained that evidence of drugs can often be kept out of court if the arresting officer does not follow strict procedures, resulting in a dismissed case.
Two groups that frequently have special issues when they are charged with marijuana possession are military persons and individuals who live outside of the state. For military members, the state you are stationed in is irrelevant, as persons active in the military are prohibited from using marijuana. If you are arrested for possession, I discussed in my post how civilian court procedures do not change for military members, however, the military is able to provide discipline as they see fit regardless of the civil court outcome. Finally, I gave tips for out of state visitors who are arrested in Virginia. For misdemeanor charges, it is often possible for a Virginia criminal defense attorney to attend trial on your behalf.
Marijuana charges must be dealt with swiftly and there are often several options available
Regardless of whether or not you live in Virginia, if you are arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession it is important to contact a criminal lawyer immediately. Ignoring the problem will only result in larger legal issues, while handling the problem yourself often results in harsher penalties than are necessary. A qualified Virginia attorney will be familiar with standard fines and punishments, and will be able to recommend a course of action that is specific to your needs and future plans. If you are arrested for marijuana possession, do not wait. Contact our office today for a consultation.