Opioid Epidemic in Virginia

On October 26, 2017, President Trump declared a national health emergency due to the opiate epidemic in the United States. In Virginia, deaths related to opiate overdose have sharply increased over the past few years. The deaths do not come from one single demographic, race, or economic status. Unfortunately, most of the people that turn to heroin do so because of an initial, legal opiate prescription.

As a result of these deaths, Police Departments in Richmond, Hanover, Henrico and Chesterfield are cracking down on the use of and sale of opiates, fentanyl, and heroin. In Virginia, the Possession of a controlled substance, such as heroin, or any other opiate is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Recognizing that addiction is an issue, the Courts and General Assembly are looking for ways to treat, instead of incarcerate, users of opiates.

If you are charged with Possession of Heroin, you can be considered for the First Offender Program if you have never had a drug charge before. If you complete the requirements of the First Offender Program, then your charge is ultimately dismissed. If your addiction is more serious, then many area courts offer intermediate programs, including day reporting centers, substance abuse treatment, and drug courts. Courts can be very forgiving if someone shows an initiative to treat their addiction.

Those who sell heroin are consistently seeing sentences that exceed the discretionary sentencing guidelines. The possession with intent to distribute or distribution of a drug such as heroin is punishable by 5 years to 40 years incarceration.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to find an attorney who knows both the law but also the treatment options in the community to mitigate any possible sentence. The lawyers at Winslow and McCurry are experienced in cases involving both the possession and sale of drugs. Call us at 804-423-1382 to get started on the road to recovery.