Drug Crime Lawyer Fairfax VA

VA Bill Would Affect Some Fentanyl Charges

All over the U.S., the fentanyl crisis has inspired lawmakers to crack down – sometimes in ways that are harsh to the point of almost cruel – against any offense involving this substance. The thought is that if offenses involving fentanyl are heavily punished, this reality will act as a deterrent to such infractions. However, the reality on the ground is not so simple. It is now well known, for example, that many people buy or are given drugs that they believe to be free of fentanyl only to learn later that they’ve been laced or otherwise tainted with this substance. 

Partially due to the nuances of what many drug offenses actually entail, Virginia Democrats have proposed an alternative to the “harsh punishment as deterrence” model when it comes to fentanyl and certain other drugs. Specifically, they have proposed a bill that would allow state prosecutors to reduce possession charges to a Class 1 misdemeanor, if the defendant in question was in possession of less than one gram of the substance at issue. This is a particularly impactful proposal for fentanyl possession charges, as simple possession of fentanyl is currently categorized as a Class 5 felony in Virginia. 

Drug Charges Are Often Complicated And Consequential

If Bill 455 were to become law, those accused of possession of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs in particular would be given a greater chance to avoid long-term penalties associated with first-time possession charges. This could serve as a meaningful wake up call for those grappling with substance abuse, and could allow them the opportunity to seek help before risking any additional run-ins with the law. As any experienced Fairfax, VA drug crime lawyer can confirm, most drug offenses are rooted in substance abuse challenges, so this would not be an insignificant shift in policy for those affected, and for their loved ones as well. 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to managing drug-related infractions. Undoubtedly, there are some who seek to profit off of drug trafficking and addiction for their personal gain in ways that have nothing to do with substance abuse and everything to do with greed. Yet, for millions in Virginia and across the U.S., running afoul of the law with regard to drugs is primarily a cry for help. And, as data has proven, no amount of heavy punishments is serving as a true deterrent to drug possession and sales among those who are grappling with the very real medical issue known as addiction. 

It is unclear whether Bill 455 has any future in Virginia. As such, those who are facing drug possession charges at present still need a strong legal team by their side as they exercise their right to mount a vigorous defense against what they’ve been accused. At May Law, LLP, we treat drug-related cases with the respect, consideration, and dedication that they deserve. Do not hesitate to call and learn more if you are in need of assistance in this regard. 

Scroll to Top