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Is There a New Law in Virginia Dealing with License Suspension and Possession of Marijuana Cases?

June 12, 2017

Yes. It Is No Longer Mandatory that Your License Be Suspended in All Possession of Marijuana Cases.

Starting July 1, 2017, the mandatory license suspension for Possession of Marijuana cases is not mandatory in every case. Up until July 1, 2017, if you were found guilty of possession of marijuana or you were placed on the first offender probation program, the judge was required to suspend you driver's license for six months.

However, as of July 1, 2017, that is not the case. If you're eligible for the first offender program and you agree to enter into the first offender program, your license does not have to be suspended. But there's one more catch: if you committed the offense of possession of marijuana while you were operating a car, your license must be suspended, no matter what.

The new change in law makes retaining an attorney even more important. An attorney can be very helpful because an attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor so that the judge does not discover you were operating a motor vehicle at the time of the offense. If the prosecutor agrees to omit that fact from the judge's attention, you can avoid a license suspension. However, if you represent yourself, you will probably not have the chance to negotiate with the prosecutor.