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What constitutes the drug crime of drug manufacturing?

Being caught with drugs in your possession could result in serious penalties. Drug possession and distribution are serious charges; however, facing drug charges related to drug manufacturing or cultivation could cause the accused to face particularly harsh criminal consequences. Thus, it is important to understand the elements of drug manufacturing and what must be proven for a conviction of this drug crime.

Under both federal and Virginia law, it is illegal to manufacture or cultivate illegal drugs, which includes substances such as methamphetamine or marijuana. The term "drug manufacturing" refers to a person being involved in any step of the process to produce an illicit drug. For example, those selling precursor chemicals, specialized equipment or offering to help in the production of an illicit drug could be charged with drug manufacturing.

In order to be convicted of drug manufacturing, the elements of the crime must be proven. This typically includes proving both the elements of possession and intent to manufacture. The accused must be in possession of some item that constitutes a step of the manufacturing process.

Additionally, there must be proof that the accused intended to use the item in their possession in the manufacturing process of an illicit drug. For example, if laboratory equipment commonly used to cook meth is found in the vehicle of the accused, this will likely establish probable cause for an arrest, as the accused is in possession of equipment and it can be presumed that he or she is in possession of this equipment in order to manufacture an illegal drug.

In most cases, drug manufacturing is a felony, resulting in penalties that include prison time, fines and probation. Those accused of manufacturing illegal drugs near schools or playgrounds could see their prison term and fines doubled.

Facing drug manufacturing charges is a serious situation to be in. While it might seem difficult to disprove the elements of this crime when law enforcement has evidence piled up against you, it is important to note the capabilities of a criminal defense. Part of a criminal defense strategy could include suppressing evidence, which could help a defendant reduce or even dismiss the charges against them.

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