Does he/she want to go to jail? Pot is still illegal in VA and to minimize the effect on your life, you need an attorney. This is a matter best considered under the applicable State or Federal law. I would strongly suggest that you consult with a local attorney (perhaps selected from the AVVO website resources) with experience in this area of law, to offer a free initial consultation and perhaps assist with the process. Once you are comfortable with he or she, hire them to represent you. If this information was helpful to you, even if you do not like or agree with the advice, please let me know by clicking on the “Helpful” or “Best Answer” button. Or, if I really hit a home run, write a positive Review. Good luck!
This information is provided as general guidance only, not actual legal advice. I have not reviewed your paperwork, and unless this is a Maryland case, I am not licensed to practice law in your State. The fine points of your question are often found in the laws of your State. So, this response is not intended to be legal advice and you should not rely on this information to make decisions. I urge you instead to consult with a local attorney.
Marijuana is still illegal in VA as far as I know. You would be best served by having an attorney to get the best possible outcome. Use AVVO's "Find a lawyer" to help you seek out local counsel.
Most times the prosecutor or judge may offer a first time offender where the case is continued for a period of time. Your driver's license is suspended and you may apply for restricted driving privileges that comply with the state code, complete a drug program, may be subject to random drug screens etc. You get to use the first offender status once. But are there any defenses to the offenses? Is the substance marijuana? Can the officer get the lab sheet into evidence? Was the substance found in a general area open to everyone in a car for example? Were statements made? One should at least consult with an attorney to discuss options. Good luck.
There is a first offender program under Virginia code 18.2–251. While it is discretionary, if you have NEVER been charged with a drug offense before, it is very likely that the judge will allow you to take advantage of the program - regardless of whether you have an attorney.
Essentially you have to go to a drug addiction assessment and comply with whatever recommendations for counseling or treatment are me, be on supervised probation, you may lose your license but you can get a restricted permit for work and school, and you have to do community service. At the end of all that, the charge is dismissed, although it cannot be expunged.
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