If a person is convicted of a drug possession charge in Virginia, he or she could be subject to several different penalties. The penalties assessed will depend on the type and quantity of drug in question. The defendant's personal history can also play a role in determining the penalties for such a crime.
Fines and jail time are common punishments for conviction on such a charge. For example, Connecticut imposes a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in prison for those caught with less than four grams of marijuana. Those who are in possession of heroin or crack could spend up to seven years in prison and be fined up to $50,000. However, California considers possession of small quantities of marijuana to be legal for those over age 21.
Penalties may vary for an individual charged with drug crimes. However, even relatively minor punishments could have an impact on a person's life. Spending time in jail can make it difficult to generate an income while paying a fine may leave an offender with little money to pay legal fees or other daily expenses. Therefore, individuals facing drug possession charges could benefit from discussing the case with legal counsel.
An attorney might be able to create defenses, such as asserting that a defendant never intended to possess a controlled substance. Furthermore, it could be asserted that an individual was coerced into possessing the drug or compelled by another person or entity. It is possible that those arguments could result in a defendant obtaining a more favorable outcome.