DC Drug Lawyer | Possesion & Distribution Criminal Defense - Ervin Kibria

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Contact Ervin Kibria Today:

Give us a call and arrange a free consultation.

Washington, DC:

1627 I ST, NW
Suite 600 #509
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: (202) 689-4439
Fax: (866) 709-5280

Virginia:

1775 Tysons Blvd.
5th Floor
Tysons, VA 22102
Direct: (703) 962-7790
Fax: (866) 709-5280

Ervin Kibria Law Reviews:

Ervin Kibria Law
5.0
Based on 179 reviews
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Sam Khan
Sam Khan
16:08 28 Feb 20
Outstanding experience with this attorney and his firm were exceptional. Really saved my family from a disaster. A really great DC attorney, super responsive and pleasant to deal with. Highly recommended!read more
Noman Jamshidy
Noman Jamshidy
15:11 25 Feb 20
Oh my god Mr. Kibria was amazing. I was so nervous about a ridiculous situation. From the start he told me he would keep me safe and take care of everything. He did exactly that but i did not expect how quickly he took care of things and all very professionally. I am so relieved and thankful. Outstanding DC lawyer who communicates exceptionally. I can’t recommend him and the firm enough!I really really appreciate your help Mr. Kibria.read more
N. Rice
N. Rice
20:18 21 Feb 20
Just got off the phone with Mr. Kibria. Definitely can tell he cares about getting fair results for his clients from the way he handles himself on the phone as well as in person. He doesn’t just spit out a price like other attorneys, he actually hears you out. Also his prices are at least 30% lower than any other quotes I’ve gotten in the city. I don’t know why you’d go anywhere else!read more
Ben Marsh
Ben Marsh
14:58 13 Feb 20
Wonderful DC defense lawyer. Got my case dismissed. His communication and professionalism is exceptional. Took care of me just like he said he would. Definitely call this firm if you need a top notch DC attorney! Also very fair with fees.read more
Alejandra Argueta
Alejandra Argueta
18:01 03 Feb 20
Mr. Kibria was truly amazing. I’ve never knew a lawyer would be so hands on with a case. He helped me through a serious and difficult time and helped protect me and my family. Not only was he always available when I needed him, no matter what, he also did so much to make sure I was safe. Hopefully I never need a lawyer again anywhere but if I do Mr. Kibria is the only lawyer I want. If they had more than 5 star I would give him more.read more
Antonio Smith
Antonio Smith
14:48 22 Jan 20
Mr. Kibria is an amazing attorney. I can’t say enough about. He truly saved me in a difficult period in my life where I was facing a lot of time behind bars. I am so glad I had him as an attorney. People should call him if they need a great attorney. He went above and beyond what was asked of him. He’s not just a amazing attorney but a wonderful person. Treated me and my family like we were his family.read more
Erin Escobar
Erin Escobar
15:25 19 Dec 19
Had a complicated case and decided to reach out to many lawyers, but then I got in contact with the best DC defense Lawyer – Mr. Kibria. My main concern was having a record on file that would prevent me from jobs. From the very beginning he made me feel comfortable as he was attentive and always available. I got a favorable outcome and could not be more satisfied with his work. He and his firm were amazing from beginning to end. He did exactly what he told me he would do from the start and always kept my anxiety at bay. Also the fees and rates at this firm were amazing given then lengths they go to to deliver the best representation in town. Mr. Kibria and his firm get my highest recommendation!read more
Yeshiwas Sewayehu
Yeshiwas Sewayehu
14:27 26 Nov 19
Outstanding DC defense lawyer. Can’t say enough. Got my case dismissed immediately. Also was always available when I needed him from minute one. Great rates too. Simply the best! Mr. Kibria and his firm are exceptional.read more
Adarsh Natwa
Adarsh Natwa
18:17 18 Nov 19
Mr. Kibria did an exceptional job representing me. I was in a wrong place, wrong time situation, and Mr. Kibria did his best in getting my case dismissed ASAP. He only ensured the best outcome for me, and I’m thankful for his services. On top of that he treated me like a family member and was ALWAYS available to me and my family members who had questions. ALWAYS AVAILABLE! Fantastic DC defense lawyer. Also outstanding rates. In short, I’d say the best in the business in DC!read more
Marcus Smith
Marcus Smith
16:31 15 Nov 19
Unmatched professionalism and service. Mr. Kibria was excellent. He got my cases dismissed and did it all while keeping my anxiety low. Not only did he dismiss all if my cases he was always available when I needed me and took care of me like I was family. Firm was also immensely fair with their rates/fees. Cant say enough about Mr. Kibrias representation of me. Outstanding DC defense lawyer! The only attorney in DC you should look to.read more
donna maurer
donna maurer
15:02 15 Nov 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were amazing. We don’t know what we’d do if he didn’t answer the phone. Truly a god-send. No one else even picked up. Then in regards to handling me and my case. Mr. Kibria treated me like a family member. He went above and beyond the call of duty and got me through a very difficult situation. He delivered in excellent fashion. Can’t say enough about him and the firm. A great attorney. He has my highest recommendation!read more
Tiki Taka
Tiki Taka
15:14 28 Oct 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were fantastic! Got my serious case dismissed. But above all its clear that the reviews and reputation are above and beyond everything i read before hiring him and the firm. He truly goes above and beyond the call of duty and he truly cares for the client. Also always available when needed and always answering all questions concerns and anxiety. The best. I urge everyone to retain this firm if they need a DC defense lawyer. Fees are also very fair given that he is top dc lawyer.read more
Clinton Leonard
Clinton Leonard
15:48 25 Oct 19
Amazing attorney and firm. Excellent DC defense attorney. Simply put he made my problems go away almost in a snap. Always available when i needed him and also extremely fair in regards to fees. This firm and Mr. Kibria are the go to if you need a top DC lawyer.read more
Tre Carlee
Tre Carlee
16:03 18 Oct 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were superb. I can’t say enough. Amazing lawyer. Had a serious case but he got it dismissed immediately. I didn’t have to do a thing. He was always available whenever i needed to talk. Always kept me informed and calm and did everything he said he was going to do. Great dc defense attorney. The lawyer and the firm to hire if you need one in DC. Truly outstanding!read more
John Harrison
John Harrison
15:16 18 Oct 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were amazing. I was charged unfairly for a wrong place wrong time deal. Mr. Kibria got my case dismissed immediately. I was so relieved. He was available to me at all times to answer all my questions and keep me calm. He did exactly what he said he would do. I am going to keep him as my lawyer for everything. Also very fair on fees. You should absolutely call Mr. Kibria if you are in trouble.-Attorney Nabeel Kibriaread more
Hyeon Jo
Hyeon Jo
13:59 17 Oct 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were amazing! Had a serious case but Mr. Kibria got it dismissed immediately. He is a great DC defense attorney. Amazing client engagement and responsiveness. Available at all times of need and very fair with fees. Beyond pleased. Please call Mr. Kibria if you need a DC attorney!read more
Abdul Ab
Abdul Ab
14:09 10 Sep 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent. Got bogus case dismissed immediately. Excellent client engagement and communication. Extremely satisfied. Highly recommend. Great DC attorney.read more
Umair Ali
Umair Ali
18:13 05 Sep 19
Nabeel and his firm are as good as it gets. Nobody better if you’re in trouble in DC. Hands down the best Washington DC criminal and DUI lawyers around! Don’t waste your time or money with anyone else. Put your trust and life in these guys hands. They will absolutely take care of you and always have your best interests at heart.read more
William Matthews
William Matthews
14:30 30 Aug 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent. Got my case dismissed. Excellent attorney who was always available when needed and fought aggressively for me. Also very fair with fees. I highly recommend him and the firm. If you need a DC defense attorney make sure to call him.read more
Helton mejia
Helton mejia
17:37 28 Aug 19
I was really scare to start this process, being my first offense. I was expecting the worst based on my case but Mr. Kibria. fought for my case and got me a way lower outcome. Excellent DC defense attorney. Always available when I needed him. He is the guy to call in DC. Highest Recommendation!read more
정우영
정우영
14:00 27 Aug 19
Mr.Kibria and his firm were excellent. Adjusted court dates for me due to travel and got my case dismissed immediately. Communication and client service was unbelievable. Excellent attorney , excellent firm. Highest recommendation. Be sure to call them.read more
Franklin Osorio
Franklin Osorio
15:44 13 Aug 19
Mr. Kibria is an excellent DC defense attorney. Made a bad situation go away. He got my case dismissed. Also his care and communication are second to none. Always available when needed with answers to all questions. Also he and his firm were very fair and generous when it came to pricing. Mr. Kibria and his firm are the go to for sure in Washington DC. Highest recommendation.read more
Samantha W
Samantha W
14:51 07 Aug 19
Nabeel is an excellent attorney. He was always available for questions and kept me informed through every step of the process. I am co fife the that with any other lawyer, my situation would have been quite different. Mr. Kibria did everything in his power to help me and was personally invested in me. I am so grateful for his help.read more
Noe Martinez
Noe Martinez
16:30 06 Aug 19
Mr. Kibria was outstanding. Best Washington DC defense attorney hands down. Took a terrible situation and resolved it for me. He got my case dismissed. On top of everything his communication and responsiveness are exceptional. He was there at all times of need. Also very affordable for a top lawyer. I highly recommend him and his firm.read more
Justice Wayne
Justice Wayne
15:48 28 Jun 19
Very professional and handle my case very well. Fight very hard for the case and made the impossible happen in my case. I Would recommend him to anyone. I would say hes the best Washington DC criminal defense lawyer. His communication and client engagement are unmatched. Mr. Kibria and his firm are the people to go to. Also prices were incredibly fair.read more
Peter Otunba
Peter Otunba
17:10 25 Jun 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent. He made a terrible situation a lot better and was willing to keep on fighting at every turn. He had my back throughout the process. Excellent DC defense attorney, also extremely affordable for a top rated DC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his firm.read more
Eyob Mengistu
Eyob Mengistu
16:21 25 Jun 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent. Fantastic DC defense attorney. Went above and beyond the call for me. Got my case dismissed within the first appearance. Mr. Kibria has my highest recommendation! Also very fair when it came to his fees- best I’ve seen for a top rated attorney.read more
Ken Baktai
Ken Baktai
17:04 21 Jun 19
Mr Kibria and his firm were excellent. He got my case dismissed immediately. Great DC defense lawyer. I highly recommend him and his firm. Very affordable!!!!read more
Pre Gib
Pre Gib
13:26 11 Jun 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent. Got my case dismissed right away. Excellent dc defense attorney. Great communication. Gave me an idea from the start how things would go and what he would do and that’s exactly what he did. I give him and his firm my highest recommendation.read more
Jesus Enriquez
Jesus Enriquez
13:52 29 May 19
Mr Kibria and he’s law firm did a magnificent job helping me with my federal criminal case. He helped me answer questions and weren’t even related to the case. I would definately recommend his business and his trust. Excellent DC defense attorney!read more
Eamonn McCaffrey
Eamonn McCaffrey
16:14 20 May 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm are amazing. I can’t say enough. Initially I was with a public defender. Although I had met and consulted with Mr. Kibria I decided to stay with the public defender figuring it was all the same with any lawyer. I was so wrong. My public defender was forcing me to eat a bs charge and i basically thought I had no choice but to agree. Weeks later when I was in court ready to eat the charge, Mr. Kibria saw me an asked what I was doing. I told him and he said I was crazy to eat a charge given the facts of my case. He said he would get my case dismissed. He took my case right then and there and requested a dismissal,l. In fact he got the government to agree to dismissal even before I had paid him. He got my case dismissed as he said he would. Unbelievable. He is the best defense attorney in Washington DC bar none. If you need a defense lawyer in dc don’t bother calling anyone else.read more
Rebecca Huang
Rebecca Huang
15:13 03 May 19
Mr . Kibria and his from were excellent. He told me how things were going to go from the start and that’s exactly how it went, in fact better. Client engagement and communication were second to none. Great DC defense attorney. Highly recommended.read more
Markee Young
Markee Young
13:37 30 Apr 19
Wow. Amazing. Hired Mr. Kibria to replace public defender for some crazy trumped up charges the police were trying to bring me down on, some serious charges. Mr. Kibria was on the case for 3 weeks and got my case completely dismissed even before the next court date! Truly preserved my life and career. This guy is the defense attorney in DC to hire. Don’t mess around with any other lawyers, directly call this man.read more
Sami Swag
Sami Swag
16:40 23 Apr 19
Great firm, great attorney. Mr. Kibria is an excellent DC defense attorney. He got my case dismissed and got me through the court process very fast. He told me exactly how things would go when he took my case and that’s exactly how it went. His communication with me at all times was great and immediate. Also he was very generous to me with his rates since I am a student. I highly recommend him and this firm.read more
Victoria Steriopoulos
Victoria Steriopoulos
13:59 23 Apr 19
Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent throughout the entire process. Mr. Kibria is a great DC defense attorney, he got my case dismissed immediately. Highly responsive and great fee rates. He’s the lawyer to go to in DC.read more
Keith Jones
Keith Jones
16:14 19 Apr 19
Mr Kibria is a fantastic and expert DC defense attorney. He was outstanding every step of the way. On top of everything his communication and client advocacy is second to none. Also affordable. I give him and the firm my highest recommendation.read more
Wilmer Meza
Wilmer Meza
13:51 19 Mar 19
Excellent Washington DC defense attorney. I was from out of state and he got my case dismissed immediately. I did not have to come back to court. Great communication and very affordable. I highly recommend.read more
orin mcintosh
orin mcintosh
15:47 26 Feb 19
Mr. Kibria is an excellent DC defense attorney. He got my case dismissed immediately. Furthermore his communication and client engagement is unlike any other. I highly recommend. Also very affordable.read more
Arnab Kar
Arnab Kar
13:40 15 Aug 18
I hired Mr Kibria for a fedral court case . He got rid of my case right away. Mr Kibria is a fantastic defense attorney. I was extremely pleased with him. Extremely affordable and highly personalized service. His communication throughout the process was exceptional.If you need a defense attorney in the District of Columbia you should definitely hire him and his firm!read more
Nancy Hernandez
Nancy Hernandez
15:37 13 Aug 18
I hired Mr. Kibria I had a serious charge gave me a excellent price he helped me out through the whole process. I really recommend him. Did a amazing job ! Great customer service.read more
Reco jackson
Reco jackson
14:22 13 Aug 18
I retained Mr. Kibria to represent against some serious charges that would have come with definite jail time and seriously affected/complicated my life and my family.However Mr. Kibria fought hard throughout the entire process to ensure that i would not face the terrible hardships the charges presented and in fact gor a great deal that allowed me to continue on with my life and take care of my family.Above all he provides highly personalized representation and was available to me anytime i needed him and provided clear communication at all times. He and his firm were also extremely affordable. If you need a DC attorney I highly recommend Mr. Kibria and this firm.read more
Kathon Van Hook
Kathon Van Hook
14:23 06 Aug 18
I hired Mr Kibria to help with me with some serious , complicated, complex and frankly nerve wracking issues. I retained Mr. Kibria and his firm based on his extensive experience and practice in DC. Mr. Kibria walked me through exactly how he was going to handle my case and resolve my situation. Mr. Kibria delivered on all his promises. His services were highly personalized and his communications with me were constant and clear. He was available whenever I needed him. He took care of my issues exactly as he said e would.If you need a defense lawyer in The District of Columbia. Mr. Kibria is definitely the guy to hire!read more
Karmen Josipovic
Karmen Josipovic
14:19 10 Jul 18
He was great the case was imideatelly dismissed. Extremely affordable. Excellent DC criminal lawyer. A must hire if you are in legal trouble in DC.read more
Next Reviews
  • review rating 5  Great firm, great attorney. Mr. Kibria is an excellent DC defense attorney. He got my case dismissed and got me through the court process very fast. He told me exactly how things would go when he took my case and that’s exactly how it went. His communication with me at all times was great and immediate. Also he was very generous to me with his rates since I am a student. I highly recommend him and this firm.

    thumb Sami Swag
    4/23/2019
  • review rating 5  Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent. Got my case dismissed right away. Excellent dc defense attorney. Great communication. Gave me an idea from the start how things would go and what he would do and that’s exactly what he did. I give him and his firm my highest recommendation.

    thumb Pre Gib
    6/11/2019
  • review rating 5  Mr. Kibria and his firm are amazing. I can’t say enough. Initially I was with a public defender. Although I had met and consulted with Mr. Kibria I decided to stay with the public defender figuring it was all the same with any lawyer. I was so wrong. My public defender was forcing me to eat a bs charge and i basically thought I had no choice but to agree. Weeks later when I was in court ready to eat the charge, Mr. Kibria saw me an asked what I was doing. I told him and he said I was crazy to eat a charge given the facts of my case. He said he would get my case dismissed. He took my case right then and there and requested a dismissal,l. In fact he got the government to agree to dismissal even before I had paid him. He got my case dismissed as he said he would. Unbelievable. He is the best defense attorney in Washington DC bar none. If you need a defense lawyer in dc don’t bother calling anyone else.

    thumb Eamonn McCaffrey
    5/20/2019
  • review rating 5  Mr Kibria is a fantastic and expert DC defense attorney. He was outstanding every step of the way. On top of everything his communication and client advocacy is second to none. Also affordable. I give him and the firm my highest recommendation.

    thumb Keith Jones
    4/19/2019
  • review rating 5  Mr . Kibria and his from were excellent. He told me how things were going to go from the start and that’s exactly how it went, in fact better. Client engagement and communication were second to none. Great DC defense attorney. Highly recommended.

    thumb Rebecca Huang
    5/03/2019
  • review rating 5  Mr Kibria and his firm were excellent. He got my case dismissed immediately. Great DC defense lawyer. I highly recommend him and his firm. Very affordable!!!!

    thumb Ken Baktai
    6/21/2019
  • review rating 5  Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent. Fantastic DC defense attorney. Went above and beyond the call for me. Got my case dismissed within the first appearance. Mr. Kibria has my highest recommendation! Also very fair when it came to his fees- best I’ve seen for a top rated attorney.

    thumb Eyob Mengistu
    6/25/2019
  • review rating 5  Mr. Kibria and his firm were excellent. He made a terrible situation a lot better and was willing to keep on fighting at every turn. He had my back throughout the process. Excellent DC defense attorney, also extremely affordable for a top rated DC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his firm.

    thumb Peter Otunba
    6/25/2019
  • review rating 5  Very professional and handle my case very well. Fight very hard for the case and made the impossible happen in my case. I Would recommend him to anyone. I would say hes the best Washington DC criminal defense lawyer. His communication and client engagement are unmatched. Mr. Kibria and his firm are the people to go to. Also prices were incredibly fair.

    thumb Justice Wayne
    6/28/2019
  • review rating 5  Mr. Kibria was outstanding. Best Washington DC defense attorney hands down. Took a terrible situation and resolved it for me. He got my case dismissed. On top of everything his communication and responsiveness are exceptional. He was there at all times of need. Also very affordable for a top lawyer. I highly recommend him and his firm.

    thumb Noe Martinez
    8/06/2019

An Introduction to Washington DC Drug Laws

There are several drug-related criminal offenses in the District of Columbia. The two major offenses are:

  1. Drug possession without the intent to manufacture or distribute.
  2. Drug manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to manufacture or distribute.

Both offenses carry significant penalties upon conviction which include fines, jail time, or both. Depending on the seriousness of the offense and other factors, you may face penalties up to tens of thousands of dollars in fines and several decades in prison.

For this reason, if you are facing drug charges in Washington DC, it is vital to contact an expert DC Criminal Defense Attorney or DC Drug Lawyer to defend you. The experienced attorneys at Ervin Kibria Law stand ready to work zealously on your case and achieve the best result possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

DC Drug Offenses: Important Words to Know

The three terms below are important to remember as they have significant bearing on any drug charges in DC. Whether your case actually involves a “controlled substance” can determine if any penalties apply in the first place. Which “Schedule” the involved drugs fall under and whether they are “narcotic drugs” determines the severity of the penalties associated with a drug conviction in DC.

“Controlled Substance”

Controlled substances are the drugs, substances, and immediate precursors of those drugs and substances, as listed within Subchapter II of Chapter 9 of the DC Code.

“Schedule I” through “Schedule V”

The controlled substances DC drug law covers are grouped into five different tiers—Schedule I through V—based on several factors, including potential for abuse, a risk to public health, and whether there is an acceptable medical use for the particular substance.

Schedule I substance has high potential for abuse, and has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or in the District of Columbia, or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.

Schedule II substance has high potential for abuse; has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or the District of Columbia, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Schedule III substance has a potential for abuse less than the substances listed in Schedules I and II; has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or the District of Columbia; and abuse of the substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Schedule IV substance has a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III; the substance has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or the District of Columbia; and the abuse of the substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule III.

Schedule V substance has low potential for abuse relative to the controlled substances listed in Schedule IV; has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or the District of Columbia; and has limited physical dependence or psychological dependence liability relative to the controlled substances listed in Schedule IV.

What Schedule the particular drug or drugs involved in your case fall under is one of the biggest factors in determining the maximum penalties you may receive for a conviction.

“Narcotic Drug”

Under the DC Code, the term “narcotic drug” specifically denotes opium and cocaine, alongside various derivatives from those drugs and substances with similar chemical effect. The term also includes substances with opium or cocaine mixed in.

DC Drug Offenses: Possession without Intent to Manufacture or Distribute (Simple Possession)

Per DC Code §48–904.01(b), “it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance”.

The exceptions to the above are:

  1. Controlled substances obtained, either directly or pursuant to a prescription, from a practitioner acting in the course of his or her professional practice.
  2. Marijuana necessary for medical treatment, obtained after getting a proper license.
  3. 1 ounce or less of marijuana.

Simple possession is generally not a felony, but a misdemeanor offense. A conviction for simple possession can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000, jail time of up to 180 days, or both.

There is a special exception in the DC Code for simple possession of the drug phencyclidine—commonly known as PCP—in liquid form, which is a felony. Conviction for this offense can be punished by a fine of up to $12,500, jail time of up to 3 years, or both.

Leniency for 1st Time Offense of Simple Possession

If you are convicted of simple possession, but your criminal record is completely clean of any other drug-related offenses, it is possible to ask for one-time leniency from the court. If the court chooses to grant such leniency, they can put the guilty judgment on hold and instead assign a probation period of up to 1 year, with reasonable conditions. If you do not violate the probation conditions and do as the court instructs, the court will dismiss the proceedings, meaning you will not have a conviction for simple possession on your record. The court will still keep a nonpublic record of the dismissal, however, for the purposes of denoting that you already used up your one-time leniency under the law.

DC Drug Offenses: Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Distribute

Per DC Code §48–904.01(a)(1), it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, distribute, or possess, with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance—unless permitted via a license to do so.

Violating this law will involve felony drug charges and the penalties depend on the Schedule and nature of the controlled substance in question:

  1. For a Schedule I or II controlled substance that is a narcotic or abusive drug, the penalty is a fine of up to $75,000, up to 30 years of jail time, or both.
  2. For a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance, except for a narcotic or abusive drug, the penalty is a fine of up to $12,500, up to 5 years of jail time, or both.
  3. For a Schedule IV controlled substance, the penalty is a fine of up to $12,500, up to 3 years of jail time, or both.
  4. For a Schedule V controlled substance, the penalty is a fine of up to $2,500, up to 1 year of jail time, or both.
  5. If the conviction involved solely half a pound of marijuana or less and you have no other convictions for manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to manufacture or distribute on your record, the penalty is a fine of up to $1,000, up to 180 days of jail time, or both.
Second of subsequent convictions for the offense doubles the maximum fines and jail time.

If the offense involves distribution to minors (age 18 or younger), the maximum jail time involved doubles.

If the offense involves enlisting minors to distribute, additional penalties are added on:

  1. For a first-time offense of enlisting minors to distribute, the penalty is up to $25,000 in fines, up to 10 years of jail time, or both.
  2. For a second or subsequent offense of enlisting minors to distribute, the penalty is up to $50,000, up to 20 years of jail time, or both.

If the offense involves distributing in a “drug free zone”, the maximum fines and jail time penalties double. Drug free zones mainly include all areas within 1000 feet of an educational facility, such as an elementary school or college, or a recreational area frequented by minors, such as a playground or video arcade. The full definition of a drug free zone in DC can be found at DC Code §48–904.07a.

In addition, DC Code §48–904.03a makes it illegal to knowingly open or maintain any place to manufacture, distribute, or store for the purpose of manufacture or distribution a narcotic or abusive drug. The penalty is a fine of up to $75,000, up to 25 years of jail time with a 5-year minimum sentence, or both.

Special Marijuana Exception

Under the DC Code, it is not a crime for a person 21 years or older to:

  1. Possess, use, purchase, or transport marijuana weighing 2 ounces or less;
  2. Transfer to another person 21 years of age or older, without remuneration, marijuana weighing one ounce or less;
  3. Possess, grow, harvest, or process, within the interior of a house or rental unit that constitutes such person’s principal residence, no more than 6 cannabis plants, with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants; provided, that all persons residing within a single house or single rental unit may not possess, grow, harvest, or process, in the aggregate, more than 12 cannabis plants, with 6 or fewer being mature, flowering plants;
  4. Possess within such house or rental unit the marijuana produced by such plants.

Note that marijuana is still a controlled substance when it is sold, offered for sale, or made available for sale, with the accompanying restrictions.

The law does not prevent employers from placing and enforcing their own restrictions on the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana in the workplace. Landlords have similar powers with regard to real property they own.

Additionally, DC Code §48–911.01 prohibits the consumption of marijuana in a public space. The definition of “public space” under this section basically amounts to everywhere except a private residence. Violation of this law is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to $500 in fines, 60 days of jail time, or both.

Also, possession or transfer without remuneration of marijuana weighing one ounce or less is still a civil violation. The police can impose a $25 civil fine and confiscate all marijuana and paraphernalia in sight if they find a violator. If the violator is 18 years old or younger, a notice will be sent to the parent or guardian.

Finally, it is important to remember that marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

Drug Paraphernalia

Broadly, drug paraphernalia includes anything that is used to grow, harvest, process, measure, package, or use drugs. A more detailed definition can be found at DC Code §48–1101(3).

Possession of drug paraphernalia in DC is punishable upon conviction by a fine of up to $250, 30 days of jail time, or both.

Sale or delivery of drug paraphernalia in DC is punishable upon the first conviction by a fine of up to $1,000, 180 days of jail time, or both. A second or subsequent conviction carries a fine of up to $12,500, 2 years of jail time, or both. There is also a special offense involving a person 18 years or older selling or delivering drug paraphernalia to a minor at least 3 years their junior. That particular offense is punishable upon conviction by a fine of up to $25,000, up to 8 years of jail time, or both.

Call Us For a Free Consultation

If you or a friend or loved one is having trouble with the law and need help about drug charges in DC, please give us a call. Nabeel Kibria is always standing by to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

DC Drug Lawyer