Pennsylvania law harshly punishes many different crimes involving drugs ( http://www.keystone.edu/about_us/departments_and_offices/forms/counseling/DrugLawsPennsylvania.pdf). If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is very important that you know what charges you are facing and what the penalties may be if you are convicted. Do not hesitate to contact a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney to help you with your case.
Drugs or controlled substances in Pennsylvania include: marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and other illegal drugs and narcotics.
Drug Trafficking, Distribution. and Manufacturing
These crimes are sometimes collectively referred to as “possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.” To convict someone of these crimes in Pennsylvania, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant grew, manufactured, or otherwise obtained these drugs and intended to deliver, or did in fact deliver, the drugs to another person. A good defense will try to disprove any or all of these elements, especially the intent element.
These crimes are usually punishable with a felony, meaning seven or more years in prison and fines of thousands of dollars. The actual sentence will depend on whether it is your first offense or not, what kind of drug was involved, and how much of the drug was involved.
It is illegal in Pennsylvania to possess drugs or controlled substances. To be convicted, the defendant must be proven to have intentionally possessed the drugs. This means that you cannot be convicted if someone planted the drugs in your possession without you knowing or consenting. You also cannot be convicted if you lawfully possess the drug as a medicine or prescription.
Depending on the type of drug, you are facing either a felony charge (for many narcotics) or a misdemeanor charge (for drugs like small amounts of marijuana). This will also depend on any previous charges and the amount and type of the drug involved.
Drug paraphernalia is defined as any device that can be used in manufacturing, growing, testing, and using drugs or controlled substances. This can include bongs, rolling papers, bowls, and needles. Possessing drug paraphernalia results in a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2500.
Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana
As mentioned above, possessing a small amount of marijuana (less than 30 grams) results in an ungraded misdemeanor. This means you could face up to thirty days in prison and a fine of up to $500.
If you have been charged with a drug charge in Pennsylvania, do not accept your guilt automatically and face these extremely steep penalties. Instead, call an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Pennsylvania as soon as possible to defend you in court.