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Virginia Beach Teacher Faces Serious Drug Charges After Investigation

by J.D. Garrett on November 15, 2013

Anyone can find themselves facing criminal charges if they make a series of poor decisions. There is not a single type of person that is immune from prosecution, or a type of person who just simply cannot get caught. Underscoring the fact that criminal charges can happen to anyone is a story out of Virginia Beach this week. Here, a Tallwood High School teacher has been arrested and charged with multiple drug charges.

Christopher James Brydge was arrested on Tuesday of last week for several drug charges after he had been under investigation. Tallwood High School officials had suspected Mr. Brydge of possessing illegal drugs and had gone to the School Resource Officer for help. According to reports, the School Resource Officer commenced an initial investigation into Mr. Brydge’s activities, and then asked the Virginia Beach Police’s Special Investigations Unit for assistance.

Mr. Brydge, a music teacher, was ultimately charged with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and sale of narcotics on or near school property. He resigned from his position at Tallwood.

Virginia Drug Possession Law

Possession with the intent to distribute marijuana is a serious crime under Virginia law, whether the offender is a teacher or not. The Virginia Code establishes the severity of possession of marijuana crimes by the amount of marijuana  possessed: up to one-half of an ounce of marijuana is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense; more than one-half of an ounce, but less than five pounds of marijuana is a Class 5 felony; and more than five pounds of marijuana is a felony for which the term of imprisonment can be between five and thirty years.

The possession with intent to distribute, sell, or give marijuana statute also provides for severe criminal charges against those who intend to distribute marijuana to prison inmates or those in correctional facilities. To distribute marijuana as an accommodation, but not with the intent to profit, to a prison inmate is a Class 4 felony. Additionally, under the statute, marijuana manufacturing in a felony crime punishable by between five and thirty years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Subsequent violations of the possession with intent to distribute marijuana law can be met with very severe consequences. A third or subsequent felony offense under the statute is punishable by life imprisonment or for a period not less than five years. Five years of such a sentence are considered a mandatory minimum, and cannot be served consecutively with any other sentence. The court may also impose a fine of up to $500,000.

Drug crimes are seriously prosecuted in Virginia and a drug charge should not be taken lightly. If you have been charged with violating Virginia criminal laws, you should immediately speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact a defense attorney at Garrett Law Group, PLC, today for a confidential consultation.

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