Virginia Marijuana Possession Lawyer

Justin Ervin is an experienced Virginia Marijuana Defense Lawyer and is ready to take your case now!

Call us today: (703) 962-7790


Virginia Marijuana Possession Lawyer

The national narrative regarding marijuana is undoubtedly changing, but in Virginia possession of marijuana is still treated as an extremely serious crime.  Being found to be in possession of even the smallest amount of marijuana can easily result in a criminal conviction, a suspension of your drivers license, probation, and a suspended jail sentence.  And that’s just on your first offense!  If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in Virginia – particularly in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, or Prince William counties – it is critical to discuss your case with an experienced Virginia marijuana defense attorney to protect your rights and avoid serious consequences.

Virginia first offense marijuana possession

I Was Only Issued a Summons!  Is This Actually Serious!?

Virginia first offense marijuana possessionBecause a first offense possession of marijuana charge will usually result in a summons being issued rather than being taken away in handcuffs, many of my clients initially assume it is not that big of a deal.  Common sense seems to dictate that if you were being charged with a serious offense, then you would be arrested.  That’s just what happens to criminals.  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Although you were only issued a summons, you were still charged with a misdemeanor, and the penalty for a marijuana conviction is not going to be a simple fine.  If you are convicted of possession of marijuana, VA Code 18-250.1 requires a mandatory 6 months loss of driver’s license (even if you were not driving at the time of your arrest).  You are facing up to 30 days in jail (although, generally all imposed jail time will be suspended), and a year of “good behavior” probation – which means if you are convicted of violating a law over the next year, the entire jail sentence for the marijuana conviction can be imposed.

Simply stated, this is not a charge to take lightly.

For first offenders, a 251 diversion pleading may not sound like a bad option.  And, in many cases, it’s not.  But don’t settle for that right out of the gates.  Have your case examined by experienced marijuana defense attorneys first to determine whether a diversion pleading is the proper course of action.  It’s always better to have a nolle prosequi or not guilty on your record than a dismissed due to 251 diversion pleading.

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Justin is a man of his words and I couldn’t ask for a better lawyer. Justin fought for my case and was with me every step of the way. Communication was concise and he was available all the time. The thing that impressed me the most is not the outcome of my case but how he handled everything easily. View on AVVO

Terrific Outcome!

I hired Mr. Ervin to help with my possession of marijuana case. Other attorneys I spoke to told me that there was not much to do but take a plea deal and suck it up. But Mr. Ervin immediately saw problems with the case and thought that the search was illegal. We went all the way to trial and I was found not guilty. Mr. Ervin did a fantastic job! View on AVVO

Not Guilty!

Before contacting Mr. Ervin, I called two other attorneys about my synthetic marijuana case and they both told me that there was nothing to do and that I should just plead guilty and ask the judge for mercy. Luckily I made one more call to Mr. Ervin. First I liked that he was younger cause it felt like he talked to me like a person. He spent time explaining the case to me and agreed to help me out. He found out that there was a problem with the test and got the case dismissed. He did a great job and I'm very happy.View on AVVO

Awesome Defense

Mr. Ervin was my lawyer when I was facing a serious charge during a dark time in my life. I've been through the legal system before and I've met my share of lawyers. Most of them don't have the time to really listen to what I have to say. They don't care what my story is. Mr. Ervin did care, and he did listen. He won my assault case and I definitely recommend him!View on AVVO

Exceptional Lawyers Who Care

I am minor international student studying in the United States, and this was my first experience with the US court system. I had a serious criminal traffic matter, but Mr. Ervin carefully explained to me how the court system works and what I should expect. He put a lot of time into my case and was always available. It was a complicated case, but he got it dismissed in the first hearing. I would recommend him to anyone!View on AVVO

Great, Patient Attorney

I retained the services of Nabeel Kibria for a complicated criminal case, in which I was wrongfully accused. I was very concerned and apprehensive as I did not know exactly what I was walking into at the time. All I knew was that I was potentially facing jail time if convicted. Upon hiring Mr. Kibria he was very considerate, understanding and thoroughly explained the legal process moving forward.View on AVVO

Great Criminal Defense Attorney


Justin Ervin, Esq.

Principal Attorney

Lawyer specializing in DUI and criminal defense throughout Northern Virginia.

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NORML Blog

Possible Defenses to Possession of Marijuana Charges

What are the defenses to possession of marijuana in Virginia?  Click here!


How to Fight a Possession of Marijuana Charge in Virginia

Possession of Marijuana Defense

Possession of Marijuana is illegal in Virginia pursuant to VA Code 18.2-250.1.  Under the statute, possession must be proven to have been “knowing” or “intentional.”  This requirement is one of the first aspects of your case that we will directly address at Ervin Kibria.  These possession requirements mean that the government must prove that you either knew about the marijuana or that you intended to have marijuana in your possession, and that it wasn’t unintentional.  Sometimes, this can be significant burden for the prosecution.  The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was (1) aware of the presence and (2) character of the drug, and (3) that the defendant possessed it.  This issue of “possession” is critical – mere presence near or in the proximity of marijuana is not enough to establish a person’s possession of the drug.

Often times, the prosecution is forced to resort to “constructive possession” of the marijuana.  In a constructive possession argument, the prosecution will offer circumstantial evidence concerning acts, statements, or conduct of the defendant that could lead the judge or jury to believe that the defendant was both aware of the presence of the marijuana and experience dominion over it.  However, having an experienced marijuana defense attorney can make it very difficult for the prosecution to prove that the defendant possessed – actually or constructively – the marijuana.

Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID)

Possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute is illegal under VA Code 18.2-248.1.  There a number of factors that are considered by both the arresting officer and the Commonwealth’s Attorney assigned to the case in determining whether to charge the defendant with simple possession of marijuana or with possession with intent to distribute.

  1. Packaging – splitting up portion of marijuana (or any illicit drug for that matter) in plastic bags is an indication that the defendant was intending to distribute the drug.
  2. Scales and other equipment – if the officers find equipment used for measuring out allotments of marijuana or any other drug, it is very likely that you will be charged with PWID.
  3. Quantity – the amount of marijuana that you have in your possession is also a very strong indictor of your intent.  Generally a small amount is considered to be for personal consumption and will be treated as simple possession.  A large amount, however, is another indicator that you were intending to distribute the marijuana, rather than just use it individually.
  4. Defendant’s Behavior – the officer will provide testimony as to to the defendant’s statements or behavior, which could signal that the defendant intended to distribute the marijuana.
  5. Money – having a large amount of money present at the same time that marijuana (or any other drug) is discovered will immediately raise red flags concerning whether there was an intent to distribute the drug.  This generally suggests profits of previous sales of marijuana.

Penalties for Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute (PWID):

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor Conviction
  • Up to 12 months jail
  • Up to $2,500 fine
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • Violations with more than 1/2 ounce of marijuana, but less than 5 pounds is a class 5 felony and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
  • Violations with more than five pounds of marijuana is a felony punishable by 5 to 30 years in prison.

Discover here for more information on Virginia First Offense Marijuana Possession

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Virginia Marijuana Offense Penalty List:

  • First Offense Possession – Maximum jail time of 30 days
  • Subsequent Possession Offenses – Up to 12 months jail
  • Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute (PWID) – Up to 12 months jail.
  • Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, Over 1/2 ounces but less than 5 pounds – 1 to 10 years prison.
  • Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, Over 5 pounds – 5 to 30 years prison.
  • Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, 3rd or subsequent felony – Up to 12 months jail.
  • Selling less than 1 ounce of marijuana to a minor – 10 to 50 years jail, with a mandatory minimum of 2 years prison.
  • Selling more than 1 ounce of marijuana to a minor – 10 to 50 years jail, with a mandatory minimum of 5 years prison.
  • Manufacturing Marijuana Not for Personal Use – 5 to 30 years prison.

Justin is a man of his words and I couldn’t ask for a better lawyer. Justin fought for my case and was with me every step of the way. Communication was concise and he was available all the time. The thing that impressed me the most is not the outcome of my case but how he handled everything easily. View on AVVO

Terrific Outcome!

I hired Mr. Ervin to help with my possession of marijuana case. Other attorneys I spoke to told me that there was not much to do but take a plea deal and suck it up. But Mr. Ervin immediately saw problems with the case and thought that the search was illegal. We went all the way to trial and I was found not guilty. Mr. Ervin did a fantastic job! View on AVVO

Not Guilty!

Before contacting Mr. Ervin, I called two other attorneys about my synthetic marijuana case and they both told me that there was nothing to do and that I should just plead guilty and ask the judge for mercy. Luckily I made one more call to Mr. Ervin. First I liked that he was younger cause it felt like he talked to me like a person. He spent time explaining the case to me and agreed to help me out. He found out that there was a problem with the test and got the case dismissed. He did a great job and I'm very happy.View on AVVO

Awesome Defense

Mr. Ervin was my lawyer when I was facing a serious charge during a dark time in my life. I've been through the legal system before and I've met my share of lawyers. Most of them don't have the time to really listen to what I have to say. They don't care what my story is. Mr. Ervin did care, and he did listen. He won my assault case and I definitely recommend him!View on AVVO

Exceptional Lawyers Who Care

I am minor international student studying in the United States, and this was my first experience with the US court system. I had a serious criminal traffic matter, but Mr. Ervin carefully explained to me how the court system works and what I should expect. He put a lot of time into my case and was always available. It was a complicated case, but he got it dismissed in the first hearing. I would recommend him to anyone!View on AVVO

Great, Patient Attorney

I retained the services of Nabeel Kibria for a complicated criminal case, in which I was wrongfully accused. I was very concerned and apprehensive as I did not know exactly what I was walking into at the time. All I knew was that I was potentially facing jail time if convicted. Upon hiring Mr. Kibria he was very considerate, understanding and thoroughly explained the legal process moving forward.View on AVVO

Great Criminal Defense Attorney

Virginia Marijuana Possession Lawyer Overall rating: 5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews.