Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.
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The legalization of marijuana has been a hot issue throughout the country, with many states legalizing the use of the drug for recreational use. Historically, Virginia has been opposed to these changes, but according to lawmakers that might change soon.

Under current law, a charge of simple marijuana possession can result in up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines for first time offenders. Virginia state Senator Adam Ebbin recently submitted a bill to decriminalize simple marijuana possession. This means that a first-time offender with half an ounce or less of marijuana will only face a civil penalty of up to $50.

While experts believe that Virginia will eventually decriminalize simple marijuana possession, they say that it is unlikely it will happen this year. One expert said that similar bills have died in committee due to a strong Republican and law enforcement presence in the House and Senate Courts of Justice committees. However, if Democrats can pick up more seats in the General Assembly, legalization may reportedly be possible in 2020.

Some of those who oppose legalization believe that decriminalizing the drug may encourage more teens to use it and result in more instances of impaired driving. However, supporters say that those who have simple possession convictions have faced serious life consequences well-beyond the fine and jail time. Having any sort of criminal record can make it difficult to find employment, enroll in higher education and get custody of children. If you have been charged with simple marijuana possession, it is important to review your case, gather evidence and get a realistic picture of what to expect moving forward. With the right defense strategy, you may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

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