The 251 program is an option for anyone charged with drug possession in Virginia. The program, named after section 10.2-251 of the Virginia state code allows a person to have a case continued. Throughout that period, the defendant must avoid any additional illegal behavior. The defendant must also take drug classes, submit to urine testing and perform community service.
A person may participate in the 251 program if a judge orders it. Most often, judges will allow first-time offenders with no prior drug convictions to participate in the one-time program. The defendant does receive a 6-month license suspension and places the defendant on probation. Violation of that probation may mean and automatic guilty verdict in the case along with a possible jail sentence.
Some people mistakenly believe, however, that by qualifying for the 251 program, the defendant can save money and not obtain a lawyer. While he or she can certainly opt not to have a lawyer represent their interest, I strongly advise against this. It is most helpful, even if a defendant is seeking to complete the 251 program and not planning on fighting the charges in court, to have legal counsel specifically looking out for your best interest.
Should you find yourself with a first-time drug possession charge, it is crucial to obtain aggressive counsel who can best guide you in seeking the right path for your case. This should ultimately lead to the best outcome for you. If you are facing such charges, contact a lawyer today.