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Fighting marijuana charges within a changing legal landscape

Marijuana is not looked at in the way it once was. It's important to realize that it's still illegal in many states, Virginia included. Despite that, arrests are not as common as they once were.

Even though many officers look the other way for minor marijuana possession, not everyone does. A first-time offense for possessing marijuana is a misdemeanor with up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500, if the officer chooses to arrest you.

What should you know about marijuana in Virginia?

Possessing marijuana isn't as serious as selling or distributing it. Usually, possession is only a misdemeanor, whereas having a half-ounce or more of marijuana for sale is a felony. It's actually possible to serve a life-sentence for marijuana sales or distribution in Virginia, even though it's completely legal to possess, and potentially sell, recreational marijuana in other states such as Colorado and Oregon.

It's still possible to face federal charges for the possession or sale of marijuana. While you could face state charges for an arrest, that isn't the limit of what you could have to fight. Federal and state charges may both be placed against you depending on who stops you, where you are at the time of the stop and other factors involved in your arrest.

What can you do to help yourself after an arrest?

It's strongly advised to defend yourself with the help of an attorney after an arrest. You don't want to say anything that gets you into deeper trouble with the law. It's vital to stand up for yourself and your freedoms by developing a strong defense.

The laws in Virginia may change in the future, but for now, it's illegal to possess and sell marijuana. If you're caught, you could face serious penalties.

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