Proving Possession of Marijuana in Virginia

UPDATE: Virginia decriminalized simple possession of marijuana on July 1, 2020. Click here for details.

If you’re charged with possession of marijuana in Virginia, what’s next? What options do you have? What defenses do you have? Here’s a look at what you need to know about your next steps.

Proving Possession of Marijuana in Virginia

Some marijuana possession cases aren’t clear cut. If you didn’t admit to having the marijuana, we may have an argument that the Commonwealth can’t prove you were legally in possession of it.

Why Hire a Lawyer for Virginia Possession of Marijuana?

For any marijuana charge in Virginia there is a risk of six months loss of your drivers license. There are several other reasons to hire me for you case, but losing your license alone is the biggest.

Defending Virginia Possession of Marijuana Cases

You may have a defense to a possession of marijuana charge. Was the stop legal? Were you actually in possession? Did you give consent for them to search the vehicle? Learn a little more by watching below.

Can Your Marijuana Charge be Amended to Possession of Paraphernalia?

In Virginia, if you’re accused of possession of marijuana, another more favorable option might be attractive to you. In some cases, we can try to have the charge amended from possession of marijuana to possession of controlled drug paraphernalia. The reason people look for this option is because on a marijuana charge, you’re license has to be suspended for six months. However, for a paraphernalia charge there is no license suspension.

But is the paraphernalia option available to you?

This is a great reason to call me for a free case strategy session so we can talk about the specifics of your case and whether or not paraphernalia might be an option.

In general, paraphernalia can be an option if this is a first offense and if you were simply in possession of a small amount of marijuana. Or even a small bit of paraphernalia with marijuana residue in it. Then a possession of paraphernalia outcome might be realistic to shoot for. However, paraphernalia is never a guaranteed option because it does normally depend upon agreement with the officer and/or the prosecutor to amend the charge from possession of marijuana to possession of paraphernalia.

Whether or not you would want to go for a paraphernalia outcome is certainly going to depend upon the facts of your case and your overall situation, such as whether or not you need your license. For some people having a restricted license for six months is not a problem and therefore a possession of marijuana outcome or a first offender disposition is not a problem for them to take care of. However, for other people having their license restricted in any way could be a serious burden and that could mean that looking for a paraphernalia outcome might make sense in those cases.

What is the Virginia Marijuana First Offender Program?

If you’re charged with possession of marijuana in Virginia, and this is the first time you’ve been through this situation you may be eligible for what we would call the first offender program.

This program is enabled by statute, which means it’s based on in the law in Virginia. However, the specifics can vary a little depending upon the court you’re in. This is why you definitely should contact a local attorney like myself. I can go over the facts of your case and determine whether or not you may be eligible for the program, as well what the program will entail specifically.

In general, the first offender program consists of you doing some community service. Being on good behavior which means no new trouble. Complying with drug screens and staying clean. At the end of the program if you do everything successfully the case should be dismissed.

As you can see it’s a great option to try to get the charge removed from the record as a conviction. However, you need to keep in mind that they fact that you are accused of marijuana will remain part of your record, so the charge does not disappear from the record. However, it would be listed on your record as a dismissal.

Contact Me

Contact me today to see what defense options you have and how I can help you.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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