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18.2-308.4 Drug Felony Firearm Charge & Penalty – Virginia Lawyers

If you are dealing with a 18.2-308.4 Drug Felony Firearm Charge & Penalty in Virginia, contact our law firm immediately for help.

18.2-308.4 Drug Felony Firearm Charge & Penalty defense in Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case. Our law firm has the necessary experience to assist you with this matter.

Kimberly v. Commonwealth

Facts:

After a bench trial in the Circuit Court of Caroline, Virginia, defendant was convicted of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm while possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute (Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.4(C)). He appealed the latter conviction. In his appeal to the Court of Appeals of Virginia, defendant argued that his conviction under Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.4(C) required the Commonwealth to prove actual, simultaneous possession of both the drugs and the firearm. The appellate court rejected that argument, and the present court granted an appeal as to that issue.

If you are facing a criminal case in Caroline, Virginia, contact a SRIS Law Group lawyer for help. You can reach us at 888-437-7747

Holdings:

The Virginia Court made the following holding:
  • There can be no dispute that the purpose of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.4 is to establish three categories of crimes relating to possession of controlled substances and firearms at the same time. Although the General Assembly chose to use the word “while” in § 18.2-308.4(C) rather than “simultaneously” which it used in § 18.2-308.4(A) and (B), there is no meaningful difference between the two words. “While” is defined as during the time that, and “simultaneous” is defined as existing or occurring at the same time. Thus, both have the temporal meaning of at the same time.
  • Code § 18.2-308.4, proscribes three separate offenses, each of which is defined therein as a Class 6 felony. The offenses in subsections (A) and (B) are defined with almost identical language as the unlawful possession of certain enumerated controlled substances while “simultaneously with knowledge and intent possessing any firearm.” Subsection (A) proscribes any such possession of a firearm, while subsection (B) proscribes such possession if the firearm is “on or about [the defendant's] person,” and subsection (B) provides a heightened penalty under those circumstances–“a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years.”
  • A conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm or controlled substance may be based solely on evidence of constructive possession. Nothing in Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.4(C) alters or suggests an intent to alter that principle.

18.2-308.4 Drug Felony Firearm Charge & Penalty defense in Virginia

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case. Our law firm has the necessary experience to assist you with this matter.

A Sris
Sris Law Group
1-703-278-0405