In Virginia a first offense is an “Unclassified Misdemeanor.” This means a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a max fine of $500. It also means a loss of driving privileges. First offenses qualify for “deferred disposition.” Deferred disposition requires a drug assessment, classes, loss of driving privileges for six months and community service. This program is a bit controversial primarily because it does not allow the defendant to qualify for expungement. As a result, the offense will remain on the individual’s record for life.
Possession of Marijuana in Virginia
In Virginia possession of less than ½ oz (first offense) is a misdemeanor, max jail time of 30 days and a maximum fine of $500. If it’s your first offense you probably qualify for the “deferred disposition” which to us is a bit odd as it does not allow expungement. Less than ½ oz (subsequent offenses) is a misdemeanor, up to 1 year in the slammer and a max fine of $2500.
Selling and Distributing Marijuana in Virginia
Virginia is not lenient when it comes to selling/distributing or trafficking marijuana and they aren’t afraid to hit you with a mandatory minimum sentence also known as MMS.
*What is the MMS law in Virginia? When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by the MMS, the judge MUST sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. ! On top of this a person serving a mandatory minimum sentence is not eligible for parole. Ouch. So to put this into perspective, even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence. And don’t forget, there is no chance of parole.
The sale/manufacture or trafficking of ½ oz – 5 lbs is a felony, a 1 year mms up to 10 years and a $2500 fine. 5 lbs – 100 kg is a felony, a 5 year mms up to 30 years and a $1000 fine. More than 100 kg = you aren’t the brightest bulb in the bunch because you are looking at a 20 year mms up to life. Tack on a fine of $100,000 and your day just went from good to horrible. Selling to a minor who is at least 3 years younger is a felony an mms of 2 years up to 50 and a $100,000 fine. If you are busted manufacturing marijuana (any amount) it’s a felony an mms of 5 years up to 30 years and a $10,000 fine. Check this out – if you are caught transporting more than 5 lbs of marijuana into the state of Virginia it’s an mms of 5 years up to 40 years and a fine a max fine of $1,000,000. Ouch!
Hash and Concentrates
The penalties for possessing hash oil are a felony, 1 to 10 years in prison and a $2500 fine. If you cross that line and decide you want to manufacture, sell or distribute (or even possess with the intent to sell) it’s a felony, 5 to 40 years in jail and a hefty $500,000 fine. If transportation is your thing, bringing more than 1 oz of hash oil into the state is punishable by 5 – 40 years in jail, a felony and a $1,000,000 fine.
Paraphernalia in Virginia
The sale or possession with the intent to sell is a misdemeanor, 1 year in prison and a $2,500 fine. If you get busted selling to a minor who is 3 years younger than you, it’s a felony, up to 1 year in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Things get a bit interesting here. Gifting marijuana to an inmate in a correctional facility is a felony an mms of 2 years up to 10 and a $100,000. Darn. This means no fun for anyone stuck in jail. We recommend you never get busted in the first place! If you get busted maintaining a fortified drug house, it’s a felony, a 1 year mms up to 10 years and $0 fine.
Should you use marijuana in Virginia? The answer is pretty clear but let us spell it out for you. Don’t even think about messing with marijuana in Virginia. The risk just isn’t worth the reward. If you are going to use in Virginia make sure you possess less than ½ oz other than that, forget it!
How Does Your State Compare to Virginia?