Cocaine remains an illegal substance in all American states and is a popular recreational drug among college students and others. If you get caught with cocaine in your possession, you can expect a swift response on the part of law enforcement.
Prosecutors serving the state of Virginia will vigorously pursue a conviction in drug cases involving cocaine. As such, even first-time offenders may face some harsh consequences after conviction.
What penalties come with a conviction?
If the police arrest you for possessing even a small amount of cocaine, it is a felony offense. Defendants typically receive a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a fine that could reach as high as $2,500.
The penalties for selling or distributing cocaine in Virginia are much more severe. People convicted of selling Schedule II controlled substances (including cocaine) face a jail term of five to 40 years and a fine approaching $500,000. Subsequent convictions for selling such substances could mean five years to a lifetime in prison and a fine of no more than $500,000.
Those convicted of selling more than five kg of cocaine may be classified as a “drug kingpin” and face at least 20 years (and possibly life) in prison. They must also pay a fine of up to $1,000,000.
As you can see, lawmakers and prosecutors in Virginia take a harsh stance against the possession and sale of controlled substances. Although your prospects may appear grim from your viewpoint, it is possible to mount a successful defense against cocaine possession or sale charges. We suggest learning more about Virginia drug crimes and potential strategies to use in your defense.