Virginia Code §18.2-250 states that possession of cocaine, a controlled substance, is unlawful and punishable with severe penalties. Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the state of Virginia. Possession of the drug is a Class Five Felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year or more than 10 years. The judge or jury hearing the case may, in their discretion, impose less jail time for the offense (jail of not more than 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00).
Deferral Program For First-Time Offenders
Certain individuals charged with a first offense of cocaine possession may be eligible for a deferral program under Virginia Code §18.2-251. This statute allows the client to be placed on probation for a period of time under terms and conditions. If the deferral is successful, the charge is dismissed by the judge.
Usually, clients who obtain a deferral under §18.2-251 for cocaine possession are required to enter a plea of guilty to the charge. The court does not enter a finding of guilt, but continues the defendant on probation to see if he or she can comply with the program. The client is ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. The client is also required to successfully complete the Alcohol Action Safety Program, submit to drug testing, and stay drug free. At the successful conclusion of the deferral program, the judge will dismiss the charges.
Virginia Possession of Cocaine Penalties
Under Virginia Code §18.2-259.1, the court forfeits the drivers license of those convicted of cocaine possession or placed in a 251 deferral program. The forfeiture period is for six months. A defendant who license is forfeited may petition for a restricted license to drive to work, school, church and medical appointments. The court will grant a restricted drivers license only in “compelling circumstances.”
Contact a Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have a pending case for cocaine possession or possession with intent to distribute, contact Attorney Yeargan to schedule a free initial consultation by phone or online today. He can assist you in evaluating the strengths and witnesses of your case and identifying possible defenses to the charge.
There are statutory and constitutional defenses to drug charges, such as search and seizure and Miranda issues, which Attorney Yeargan reviews with each client to ensure the best results possible.