Possession of Drug Paraphernalia or Dismissed Possession of Marijuana
When an individual is charged with Possession of Marijuana, first offense, they are eligible for a 251 disposition which allows the charge to be dismissed following a period of probation, driver’s license suspension, substance abuse counseling, and community service. If you qualify, you will be given this offer on your first court date before you have an attorney. An alternative disposition is to amend the charge to possession of drug paraphernalia which prevents a marijuana drug possession conviction from appearing on your record, a mandatory license suspension, and participation is substance abuse counseling.
If you are charged with Possession of Marijuana contact DSK Law and discuss whether Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a better result for you.
Possession of Marijuana | Virginia Code 18.2-250.1
A. It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess marijuana unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.).
Upon the prosecution of a person for violation of this section, ownership or occupancy of the premises or vehicle upon or in which marijuana was found shall not create a presumption that such person either knowingly or intentionally possessed such marijuana.
Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and be confined in jail not more than thirty days and a fine of not more than $500, either or both; any person, upon a second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of state, federal, county, city or town law-enforcement agencies, jail officers, or correctional officers, as defined in § 53.1-1, certified as handlers of dogs trained in the detection of controlled substances when possession of marijuana is necessary for the performance of their duties.
Possession Marijuana | 251 Disposition | Virginia Code 18.2-251
Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any offense under this article or under any statute of the United States or of any state relating to narcotic drugs, marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drugs, or has not previously had a proceeding against him for violation of such an offense dismissed as provided in this section, pleads guilty to or enters a plea of not guilty to possession of a controlled substance under § 18.2-250 or to possession of marijuana under § 18.2-251 the court, upon such plea if the facts found by the court would justify a finding of guilt, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and place him on probation upon terms and conditions.
As a term or condition, the court shall require the accused to undergo a substance abuse assessment pursuant to § 18.2-251.01 or 19.2-299.2, as appropriate, and enter treatment and/or education program or services, if available, such as, in the opinion of the court, may be best suited to the needs of the accused based upon consideration of the substance abuse assessment. The program or services may be located in the judicial district in which the charge is brought or in any other judicial district as the court may provide. The services shall be provided by (i) a program licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, by a similar program which is made available through the Department of Corrections, (ii) a local community-based probation services agency established pursuant to § 9.1-174, or (iii) an ASAP program certified by the Commission on VASAP.
The court shall require the person entering such program under the provisions of this section to pay all or part of the costs of the program, including the costs of the screening, assessment, testing, and treatment, based upon the accused’s ability to pay unless the person is determined by the court to be indigent.
As a condition of probation, the court shall require the accused (i) to successfully complete treatment or education program or services, (ii) to remain drug and alcohol free during the period of probation and submit to such tests during that period as may be necessary and appropriate to determine if the accused is drug and alcohol free, (iii) to make reasonable efforts to secure and maintain employment, and (iv) to comply with a plan of at least 100 hours of community service for a felony and up to 24 hours of community service for a misdemeanor. Such testing shall be conducted by personnel of the supervising probation agency or personnel of any program or agency approved by the supervising probation agency.
The court shall, unless done at arrest, order the accused to report to the original arresting law-enforcement agency to submit to fingerprinting.
Upon violation of a term or condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him. Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt and is a conviction only for the purposes of applying this section in subsequent proceedings.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a court places an individual on probation upon terms and conditions pursuant to this section, such action shall be treated as a conviction for purposes of §§ 18.2-259.1, 22.1-315, and 46.2-390.1, and the driver’s license forfeiture provisions of those sections shall be imposed. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be applicable to any offense for which a juvenile has had his license suspended or denied pursuant to § 16.1-278.9 for the same offense.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia | Virginia Code 54.1-3466
Except as authorized in this chapter, it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to possess or distribute controlled paraphernalia which shall mean a hypodermic syringe, needle or other instrument or implement or combination thereof adapted for the administration of controlled dangerous substances by hypodermic injections under circumstances which reasonably indicate an intention to use such controlled paraphernalia for purposes of illegally administering any controlled drug, or gelatin capsules, glassine envelopes or any other container suitable for the packaging of individual quantities of controlled drugs in sufficient quantity to and under circumstances which reasonably indicate an intention to use any such item for the illegal manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of any such controlled drug. Evidence of such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, close proximity of any such controlled paraphernalia to any adulterants or equipment commonly used in the illegal manufacture and distribution of controlled drugs including, but not limited to, scales, sieves, strainers, measuring spoons, staples and staplers, or procaine hydrochloride, mannitol, lactose, quinine, or any controlled drug or any machine, equipment, instrument, implement, device or combination thereof which is adapted for the production of controlled drugs under circumstances which reasonably indicate an intention to use such item or combination thereof to produce, sell, or dispense any controlled drug in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons who have acquired possession and control of controlled paraphernalia in accordance with the provisions of this article or to any person who owns or is engaged in breeding or raising livestock, poultry or other animals to which hypodermic injections are customarily given in the interest of health, safety, or good husbandry; or to hospitals, physicians, pharmacists, dentists, podiatrists, veterinarians, funeral directors and embalmers, persons to whom a permit has been issued, manufacturers, wholesalers or their authorized agents or employees when in the usual course of their business, if the controlled paraphernalia lawfully obtained continues to be used for the legitimate purposes for which they were obtained.