Virginia Cocaine Laws at a Glance
Cocaine is an illegal substance in all states, although state governments vary widely in how they prosecute drug crimes in general. Virginia classifies cocaine as a Schedule II drug (heroin is Schedule I), which carries a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a $2,500 fine for simple possession. The sale of cocaine carries much harsher sentences -- 20 years to life in prison for the sale of more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.
Virginia Drug Treatment Courts
Although simple possession of cocaine (even small amounts) can result in prison time in Virginia, the state has followed the national trend in creating alternatives for non-violent offenders. Virginia's drug treatment courts began as a pilot program in Roanoke in 1995, and are now offered in districts throughout the state, including juvenile courts. Generally, non-violent drug offenders are given probation instead of incarceration while they receive addiction treatment.
The program involves a collaborative effort among the judge, the state's attorney, treatment professionals, and probation officers. Participants are drug tested and monitored by probation officers, but relapses are not always treated as a new offense.
The basics of Virginia cocaine laws, including crime classifications and sentences, are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section for related articles.
||Any amount: Class 5 felony (up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine)
||5-40 yrs. and up to $500,000 if defendant proves he gave drug (1) not for profit; (2) not to an inmate, or (3) not for recipient to become addicted, then Class 5 felony; "Drug kingpin" if over 5 kg.: up to $1,000,000 and 20 yrs. to life with 20 yrs. mandatory; Subsequent offense: at court or jury's discretion, life or not less than 5 yrs. and up to $500,000; Sale to minor or within 1000 ft. of school: stricter penalties
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- it is a good idea to contact a Virginia drug crime attorney as well as conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are seeking.
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