What Is a Virginia Class U Felony?

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In Virginia, a class U felony is a felony that is unclassified. This type of felony charge is for offenses that don’t fall neatly under the first six official felony classes. A defendant may be charged with an unclassified felony for crimes such as grand larceny, robbery and rape. Some types of drug charges can also be considered unclassified. Fines and penalties under class U felonies vary.

Some instances of marijuana possession in the state of Virginia are considered unclassified felonies. Virginia law specifies that a person in possession of over 5 pounds of marijuana is committing an unclassified felony. As of 2014, growing marijuana in Virginia is an unclassified felony. If convicted on these charges, defendants may receive up to 30 years in prison. Likewise, possession of controlled substances classified as Schedule I or Schedule II is an unclassified felony in some situations. For instance, a class U charge can be levied if a person is caught manufacturing, distributing or selling Schedule I or II narcotics.

Under state drug laws as of 2014, unclassified felonies are handed out to defendants who are charged with a third or subsequent marijuana felony violation. The court also has the option of doling out a class U felony conviction as enhanced punishment for larger illegal drug quantities.