What Should I Expect If I Get Arrested?
Common NoVA Criminal Charges
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Grand Larceny
- Petty Larceny
- Obtaining Money by Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Assault & Battery
- Illegal Possession or Use of Firearm
- Obstruction of Justice
Drug laws throughout Virginia criminalize the behaviors of possessing, transporting, and distributing certain drugs under various circumstances. Unlike in nearby areas such as Washington D.C., the possession of marijuana for non-medical purposes is illegal in Virginia. This means that a person can be charged with an unclassified misdemeanor merely by having spilled some marijuana on their person or in their vehicle. It is the mere presence and not the amount that makes such possession a crime. However, if a person is found to be in possession of more than one-half ounce of marijuana, the person will likely be charged with a felony offense. Similarly, it is illegal to possess, transport, or distribute any substance that has been deemed a Schedule I – VI controlled substance by the Virginia Drug Control Act, unless a person meets an exception such as having a valid prescription.
What makes a drug legal or illegal in Virginia will often times depend on why a person is in possession of the drug. Does the person have a prescription? Is the person in possession of the substance in a professional capacity? For example, if a person is in possession of marijuana or any substance that has been deemed a Schedule I through VI by the Drug Control Act, it will typically be an illegal drug unless the person possesses said substance due to a valid prescription or through the capacity of the person’s employment.
Generally, an adult may possess and transport a firearm in Virginia. It is lawful to open carry a firearm in Virginia in public, except where prohibited (i.e. airports, courthouses, places of religious worship, and school facilities). Whether one openly carries or possesses a concealed carry permit, an individual may transport a handgun in Virginia while in a personal, private motor vehicle if it is “secured in a container or compartment of the vehicle.”
Some of the most common gun charges in Northern Virginia are:
- Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit;
- Brandishing a firearm; and
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
Virginia, under Virginia Code §18.2-308, prohibits individuals from carrying firearms in a manner that is hidden from common observation without having a concealed carry permit to do so. Virginia Code §18.2-282 prohibits persons from holding or brandishing any firearm, whether capable of being fired or not, in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another person. And, Virginia Code §18.2-308.2 makes it unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony offense to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any firearm or ammunition for a firearm in Virginia.
If you are facing any criminal charge, it is imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to aid in your defense.