Generally, police officers in Virginia do not charge people with possession of drug paraphernalia. That's because of the way the statute is written. The statute is written so that only paraphernalia like hypodermic needles is covered. However, it is common for prosecutors in Virginia to agree to amend a charge like Possession of Marijuana to Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The reason that some people prefer to have a paraphernalia charge is paraphernalia charges do not come with a license suspension. If you're convicted of Possession of Marijuana, your license is suspended for six months. Drug paraphernalia is still a Class 1 misdemeanor, but usually will only come with a fine and maybe a suspended jail sentence.
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