Drug Possession

Richmond, Virginia | Drug Possession Defense Lawyer

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From Critzer Cardani – Call today to schedule a FREE consultation with an experienced Criminal Defense Drug Possession Attorney at Critzer Cardani PC. If you or your child is facing a drug possession criminal charge in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover or any of the surrounding areas in Virginia, hiring an experienced attorney matters!


Drug possession laws in Virginia are extremely tough. If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance, you can expect the prosecutor to aggressively prosecute you. You need to an experienced attorney to fight back by developing a strong defense so you can avoid the harshest penalties regardless if it is a felony or misdemeanor. Our legal team at Critzer Cardani PC is here to help you, and our Drug Possession consultations are FREE.  Do not represent yourself before the court and do not talk to the police without an attorney. Your conviction could have ramifications in your life long after you complete any possible sentence.

Possession of a Controlled Substance?

In Virginia, a controlled substance (drug) is defined as a drug or substance listed in the statutory classification of drugs. Alcohol and tobacco are not controlled substances. Virginia law defines possession of a controlled substance very liberally. You do not have to be holding the drugs or have them in a purse or pocket to be charged with this crime. The legal definition of drug possession only requires you to have the substance “within your control.” This means that you could be considered in possession of a drug if it is in your car glove compartment, on a table in your house, in a cupboard in your kitchen, or in your system.

Classification of Drugs Under Virginia’s Drug Possession Laws

Drugs are classified into one of six schedules based on the classification of controlled substances under federal drug possession laws. The seriousness of the charge you face will depend on the classification of the drug, which is dependent on how serious and dangerous the federal government has determined certain drugs to be. Drugs are classified in the following six schedules:

  • Class I. Class I drugs are the most dangerous and have the most potential to be addictive. They also have no medical use. Drugs in this classification include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.
  • Class II. These drugs have a high potential for abuse and severe dependency but do have some medical uses. Possession of PCP, cocaine, morphine, and methamphetamine fall within this classification.
  • Class III. Class III drugs have less potential for abuse and dependency than Class II drugs and have accepted medical uses. Examples are codeine, anabolic steroids, and some depressants.
  • Class IV. This classification includes many prescription drugs that have a medical use but also the potential for dependency, such as valium, Darvon, Xanax, and other tranquilizers and sedatives.
  • Class V. Cough medications with codeine are the drugs within this classification. While generally used for medicinal purposes, they carry a limited risk of abuse and dependency.
  • Class VI. This includes substances that are not really drugs but that can be abused recreationally and includes certain inhalants.

Note: Marijuana is classified as a Class I drug under federal law; however, marijuana possession falls outside of these six classifications in Virginia. It is considered a misdemeanor with its own penalty structure.

Penalties You Could Face If You Are Convicted of Drug Possession

Some drug possession convictions have mandatory minimum sentences, giving the judge little leeway in sentencing you if you are convicted. In addition, your driver’s license may be suspended if you are convicted of one of these crimes. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial to getting the charges against you dismissed or working to reducing the charges and/or penalties as much as possible. Class I and II offenses are the most serious and are felonies. Class II, IV, V, and VI are misdemeanors.

You could face the following penalties:

  • Class I and II. Up to 10 years in prison, or confinement in a jail for up to 12 months and fines of up to $2,500, or both.
  • Class III. Confinement in jail for up to 12 months or a fine not exceeding $2,500, or both.
  • Class IV. Confinement in jail for up to six months or a fine not exceeding $2,500, or both.
  • Class V. Fine of up to $500.
  • Class VI. Fine of up to $250.


Call or email today to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney at Critzer Cardani PC.

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