Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

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Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

When facing drug charges in Virginia, there is the possibility of serious consequences that can have a long-term influence on a person's life in the event there is a conviction. There are, however, options to reduce charges depending on the severity of the offense. It is possible that probation will be available under the law, and that the harshest punishments can therefore be avoided.

When it comes to drug charges, if it is an individual's first offense, there is the chance that he or she may be placed on probation. This includes charges relating to narcotics, marijuana, stimulants, depressants or hallucinogenic drugs. Whether the individual has pleaded guilty or not guilty, being placed on probation defers the final judicial proceedings. The individual might be compelled to be assessed for substance abuse or to enter a treatment/education program. This depends on how the issue is viewed.

If placed into a program, it can be located in any judicial district. These programs are provided either by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or the Department of Corrections of the state. It can also be a community-based program or the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) of Virginia. It is required that the person who is enrolled in the program in lieu of other penalties pay all or some of the costs. That includes testing, assessing, screening and treatment. However, this depends on the person's ability to pay.

There are conditions to probation. The person must complete treatment, stay free of substance abuse while on probation and agree to be tested, try to get employment and remain employed and perform community service. If the terms of the probation are violated, the individual will be found guilty and will have to face the associated penalties. A legal professional experienced in representing those facing drug charges can help with pursuing ways to reduce charges and receive probation.

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