If you are stopped by the police, and are found with marijuana and or other paraphernalia, you are likely to face some kind of charge. Being in possession of a small amount of marijuana, a half-ounce or under, is usually considered for “personal use” and will likely not result in serious charges. However, if a larger amount is found, a more serious charge of “possession with intent to deliver” is a possible and more serious charge.

Marijuana Possession with Intent To Distribute Laws in Virginia

In Virginia, having a large amount of a marijuana or controlled substance is  not always enough proof for a charge for distribution. The Commonwealth must show that there is additional evidence to support the charge of “intent to distribute”. Additionally, if the amount of marijuana is more than a half-ounce but less than five pounds, or 2.27 kg, the charge is considered a Class 5 felony, punishable by a jail term of at least one year, but not more than 10 years. For a first offense, the judge may use discretion to sentence the guilty party to a term not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500. To learn more about felony and misdemeanor charges in Virginia, visit our page,

Virginia Felony Laws
Virginia Misdemeanor Laws

Marijuana Sale/Delivery Laws in Virginia

The penalty for possession with intent to distribute more than five pounds, but less than 100 kg, or 220 pounds of marijuana is also a felony, punishable by not less than five years in prison and not more than 30 years. The penalty for distributing more than 100 kg of marijuana is a mandatory 20 years-to-life sentence. A judge may be able to reduce this mandatory-minimum sentence if there are mitigating factors.

Factors That Effect Punishment

There are certain factors that can have an effect on the penalty for a charge of possession with intent to distribute. These factors include:

  • Prior convictions for drug related offenses.
  • If the defendant did not use or; convince another participant in the crime to use.
  • Violence or credible threats of violence.
  • Possession of firearm or other dangerous weapon while committing the crime.
  • The offense did not result in a death or serious bodily injury to any person.
  • The defendant was not in any way a leader, organizer, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense
  • was not engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise.
  • The defendant cooperated with the police and court officials.

It is important to remember that because of the various factors that affect each case, it is essential to have a criminal defense lawyer defend your rights in court. If you have received a charge related to the sale, distribution or possession or marijuana in Virginia, send us a message online and tell us about your case. We can help you understand your options.

Marijuana Distribution to Minors

Distributing more than one ounce of marijuana to a minor, any person under 18 years of age, by a person who is more than three years older than the minor, or using such a minor to distribute more than one ounce of marijuana, is a felony and carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five to a maximum of 50 years, and a fine up to $100,000.

Marijuana Distribution in School Zones

Distributing more than a half an ounce of marijuana within 1000 feet of a school or school bus stop is also a felony. The mandatory minimum sentence that such an offense carries is one year in prison, with the maximum being five years, and a maximum fine of $100,000. However, if a defendant is shown only to be found guilty of selling on behalf, or as an accommodation to another individual, and not with intent to profit, the defendant will instead face a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a prison sentence of 12 months or less, and a fine not more than $2,500.

We Are Ready to Fight for You!

Any charges of marijuana possession with intent to distribute are serious charges that require a defendant to retain legal representation. An experienced legal professional can protect your rights in court so that you are not taken advantage of or in some cases, help you get your charges lowered to a less serious crime and in some cases, get your charges dropped entirely.

Have You Been Arrested With Drug possession And Intent To Distribute In Virgina, Maryland or Washington D.C.?

If you'be been arrested for drug possession with intent to distribute you need to speak with an experienced drug defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Vienna, Virginia office directly at 703.991.7978 or our Rockville, Maryland office at 301.637.5392 to sechdule your case consultation. 

Yuvora Nong
Helping VA, MD & Washington D.C. clients with all of their immigration law legal needs since 1997.