Virginia  |  Criminal Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 1/07/03, 2:37 pm

U.K. citizen found with illegal substance at airport

I am a U.K. citizen working in the U.S. on a visa. I was recently given a summons to appear in a Virginia Court after being found with a small ammount of marijuana at a Virginia Airport. I would like to know the consequences this entails? Will it affect future application for green card? Is it more serious because it was found in an airport? Should I retain a lawyer for court appearance? I have no prior record.

2 Answers


Answered on: 1/07/03, 11:30 pm by Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: U.K. citizen found with illegal substance at airport

Even a resolution of the charge of marijuana possession with an SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence)in the Commonwealth of Virginia could get you booted from the country.

The fact that the marijuana was discovered on your person within the confines of an airport

would not make the basic charge any more serious.

Given the fact that you're not even a citizen of the U.S., the answer is, yes, by all means, retain competent defense counsel to represent you in this criminal matter which could well result in

your deportation from the United States in the event that you're convicted.


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Answered on: 1/07/03, 3:17 pm by Sudeep Bose

Re: U.K. citizen found with illegal substance at airport

The drug possession charge will certainly have serious consequences to you with immigration issues if you are convicted. Even one simple possession charge can have consequences to your future immigration plans into the U.S.

As far as a U.S. citizen facing the charges, the seriousness of the charge is less prominent. Most first time offenders will retain attorneys who are able to plea bargain the charges as a first time offense with a suspended imposition of sentence. This usually entails entry to a drug rehabilitation program and general good behavior.

The jurisdiction of the charge is also of import. Federal courts will always be more stringent in sentencing than Virginia state courts.

Should you have further questions, please call 703-926-3900.


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