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What are the penalties for cocaine charges in Virginia?

All drug charges are serious in Virginia; however, charges related to cocaine are particularly serious because they are felony charges. This means that you face up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine for simple possession of cocaine if you are convicted.

What are some of the penalties for cocaine charges?

Selling cocaine in Virginia means that you are facing five to 40 years in prison if you are convicted. That period of incarceration can be increased to life if the case has specific elements, such as being classified as a drug kingpin. Mandatory minimum sentences are possible in some cocaine-related cases, such as a 20 year mandatory minimum in drug kingpin cases.

Are there any alternatives to incarceration for cocaine charges?

It is possible for some people to participate in a drug treatment court option if the case meets all the requirements for the program. In Virginia, anyone with a violent charge is forbidden from participating in the drug court program. People who are allowed to participate in drug court are placed on probation and held to specific standards in order to complete the program. Treatment for the drug addiction is part of the program.

If you are facing cocaine charges in Virginia, you need to determine what your options are for your case. If you are interested in drug treatment court, for example, you need to explore that option as early in your case as possible. It is critical that you work on preparing a defense for a trial in the event your case moves to that point.

Source: FindLaw, "Virginia Cocaine Laws," accessed Dec. 31, 2015

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