Marijuana Possession

Marijuana Possession Lawyer in Northern Virginia


Although more and more states are decriminalizing marijuana, it is still illegal to possess marijuana in Virginia. Many people don’t believe marijuana possession to be a big deal, but the courts certainly think otherwise. A marijuana possession conviction can have serious penalties like fines or even jail time, so it’s important that you understand the charge and how to best defend against it.

A marijuana possession charge doesn’t have to ruin your life. Make sure you understand the charge and how to defend your rights in court. J. Madison PLC’s experienced attorneys will work with you to minimize the consequences of a marijuana possession charge.

What Constitutes a Marijuana Possession Charge?

Marijuana possession is described in Virginia code 18.2-250.1. The law states that it is illegal for a person to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana unless they have a prescription for it. The concept of intent is incredibly important to understand, and if a person is not aware they possess marijuana or somehow possess it accidentally, they are not guilty of marijuana possession. Intent can be a difficult thing to prove in court, which is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side.

Marijuana Possession Penalties

Simple marijuana possession can have varying consequences depending on if this is your first conviction or if you are a repeat offender. A first offense is an unclassified misdemeanor, with a maximum 30-day jail sentence, $500 fine and six-month driver’s license suspension. The penalties increase for repeat offenses. A second offense is a class 1 misdemeanor, with up to 12 months in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine.

Like any misdemeanor conviction, marijuana possession can have consequences other than jail time and fines. A criminal conviction can affect your ability to get into college, get financial aid for college, find/keep a job, or obtain/keep a security clearance. You need to prepare a vigorous defense to protect your future.

Defending Against a Marijuana Possession Charge

There are several ways to defend against a marijuana charge. Several of the most popular may seem the most obvious, but they still require skill and experience to pull off. You can defend against the charge by attacking the evidence showing that you possessed the marijuana. This is most effective when police find marijuana in a car or building. Another popular defense is to challenge the evidence that you knowingly and intentionally possessed the marijuana. This is sometimes referred to as the “not my pants” defense. This defense is generally used in situations where the police find the drugs in your pants pocket or some other item closely associated with your person (such as a backpack). This defense focuses on challenging the evidence showing that you knew the drugs were in your possession, or if you knew they were there, that you didn’t know that they were a controlled substance. Our team can use these strategies and more to help minimize the consequences of the charge.

Don’t let a simple mistake ruin your future. Make sure you have an excellent defense prepared to fight the charge in court. Trust J. Madison PLC’s legal team to protect your interests and your future.

J. Madison PLC: Fighting for You

J. Madison PLC is a law firm in Northern Virginia that provides both employment and criminal legal defense services. Our attorneys are experienced, compassionate, and will make you their number one priority at every step of the way.

If you’ve been charged with marijuana possession, you should contact an experienced and diligent attorney right away. Contact J. Madison PLC today at (703) 910-5062.

Former Arlington County prosecutor Benjamin R. Inman leads J. Madison PLC's criminal defense practice.

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J. Madison PLC helps Virginians who need representation with employment law or criminal law cases. If you are facing discrimination, harassment, or retaliation at work, or if you feel that you've been wrongfully terminated, J. Madison PLC may be able to help. Also, if you've been charged with a crime, including DUI, or a traffic citation, J. Madison PLC may be able to help. But before we can talk to you about your case, we need to make sure there are no conflicts of interest. Give us your name and contact information, and enough information to conduct the conflict of interest check, and we'll get in touch as soon as we confirm we're not on the other side.