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  1. #1
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    How Is A First Time Offender Defined In Virginia

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Virginia

    I will probably be charged with a posession of marijuana ticket in Virginia, and my question is what are the requirements for it to be a first offense? About 14 years ago I was charged with possession of morphine and marijuana. The morphine ticket was reduced to misdemeanor possession of a schedule three controlled substance, and the marijuana charge was dismissed upon my completion of probation. Since I have never been convicted of any marijuana crimes would it still be a first offense and fall into the punishment for first offenders?


  2. #2
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    Sorry, the VA First Offender (18.2-251) refers to ANY prior drug-related offense. It doesn't matter what specific drugs are involved. It doesn't have to be a Virginia conviction.

    Further it sounds like you already used the first offenders provision to dismiss a charge, and those charges count against you as well.


    Last edited by FlyingRon; 07-19-2009 at 02:45 PM.
  3. #3
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    Thank you for your help, it is very much appreciated. I do however have a followup question. I'm not sure if the code you cited applies to that which I am referring. In Virginia first offense possession of marijuana is a different charge from subsequent offense. I could easily be wrong, and just grasping at straws, but the code you cited is that which refers to pretrial intervention. I am referring to the sentencing guidelines for first offense possession of marijuana which has a maximum of 30 days in jail as opposed to one year for subsequent offenses.

    Thanks again to you or anyone else who has any information to offer.


  4. #4
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    [url=http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes/toc1802000/18.2-250.1.html]Virginia Code § 18.2-250.1 - Possession of marijuana unlawful - Virginia Virginia Code § 18.2-250.1 - Possession of marijuana unlawful - Virginia Code :: Justia[/url]

    This is that to which I am referring, the first offense is a maximum of 30 days in jail and 500 in fines, but subsequent offense is a class 1 misdemeanor which I believe implies a maximum of one year in jail and 2500 in fines.


    Last edited by DanHalen; 07-19-2009 at 03:07 PM.
  5. #5
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    First offense means first crime... of any type.

    You don't get extra credit for expanding your criminal resume into other crimes.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjeff View Post
    First offense means first crime... of any type.

    You don't get extra credit for expanding your criminal resume into other crimes.
    "upon a second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor" well this quote from the possession law doesnt seem to say first crime of any type? I mean come on, speeding is a crime and carried in criminal court ffs, I doubt a speeding ticket would cause someone to no longer be considered a first offender.


    In review, I had been fortunate enough to be allowed to take advantage of the first time offender section (18.2-251) which obviously can only be employed once in someone's lifetime. This left me without a conviction under section (18.2-250.1) and as far as I can tell (18.2-251) says nothing about counting as a conviction when applied to a subsequent offense under (18.2-250.1).

    So, to clarify, my question is will I be facing a class 1 misdemeanor or will I be facing the unspecified misdemeanor of first time possession, or am I interpreting this wrong?


    Last edited by DanHalen; 07-19-2009 at 03:40 PM.
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