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Some first-time drug offenders may avoid harsh penalties

Virginia is one of several states known to impose harsh penalties for those convicted of drug crimes. Depending on the charges involved, a convicted offender may face significant jail time as well as expensive fines. However, some first-time offenders may qualify for special dispensations if they have never faced legal trouble in the past.

This is wonderful news for many Lynchburg residents facing their first time as a drug crime defendant. However, you will still benefit from an attorney’s guidance when seeking relief from the harshest drug offense penalties.

Who qualifies?

Those with no prior convictions for drug crimes involving stimulants, narcotics, depressants or hallucinogenic substances.

Or

Those with no history of any legal proceedings associated with drug crimes, even if no conviction occurred.

What are some of the program’s requirements?

  • Participate in a substance abuse assessment
  • Participate in and complete an education or treatment program, if available
  • Pay for all or some part of the expenses related to the program

Further, the program applicant must submit to (and pass) routine drug testing and must also make a reasonable effort to find and maintain a job. Most drug crime defendants must also perform community service and may lose their driving privileges for a time. Failure to comply with all terms of the program will likely lead to a conviction and all of the penalties you wished to avoid in the first place.

If you have been charged with one or more drug crimes and it is your first offense, a defense attorney can help you pursue the first-time offender program. He or she can also help you create a solid defense if you have prior drug convictions on your record.