Top Articles: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Drug & Gun Charges


Top Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer David Nenner

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“Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Philadelphia” by Super Lawyers (2015-2020)

Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer David S. Nenner has over 30 years of experience and compiled a legal library about various types of criminal cases.  This Philadelphia criminal law library addresses various drug charges and issues in state and Federal criminal cases.  This legal library is for information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.

If you have questions about a PA drug and narcotics case in Philadelphia, Scranton or other parts of PA, it is best to consult with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.

Most Recent Posts

  • Pennsylvania (State) Drug Charges, Dog Sniffs & Constitutional Law (October 15, 2020)
    Federal and Pennsylvania state courts treat narcotics dog searches differently. So different that the same scenario could result in different outcomes in federal versus state court. For example, a Philadelphia resident is pulled over for speeding. During the traffic stop, a narcotics officer arrives on the scene with a drug dog who sniffs the ...
  • Dog Sniff Searches of Cars in Pennsylvania Traffic Stops (Federal Law) (October 6, 2020)
    Dog or canine searches of cars during traffic stops in PA often lead to drug possession/dealing charges and gun charges. For example, a police officer pulls over a driver for speeding. During the traffic stop, a canine search is performed revealing several bags of heroin. The individual is arrested and charged with federal charges, drug ...
  • Federal Drug Dealing Crime Sentencing Law – Mandatory Minimum Sentences Reduced in Phila. Cases (September 17, 2020)
    On December 21, 2018, federal sentencing laws for drug cases were amended significantly. The First Step Act removed the mandatory life sentence for 3 time drug offenders in high quantity drug dealing cases and also reduced the mandatory minimum sentences for 2nd offenses. Also, the First Step Act also made the Fair Sentencing Act of ...
  • Top Rated Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer Discusses PA Drug Charges & Federal Drug Charges When a defendant is charged with Pennsylvania drug charges, they may also be charged with Federal drug charges depending on the circumstances of the crime and the amount of drugs.  In this article, David Nenner, a top rated Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer, discusses Federal and Pennsylvania drug charges and the penalties associated with them.
  • Arrested for a Drug Crime in Philadelphia? Different Types of Bail If an individual is arrested for drug charges in Philadelphia, can they get bail? If so, how are the amounts determined?  Whether an individual gets bail and the amount of bail are dependent on the facts of the case and the types of charges.  This article discusses different types of bail. If your loved one was arrested for drug possession or other drug charges, it is best to consult a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.
  • Drug Charges in Philadelphia PA State Court – Possession of a Controlled Substance A common drug charge in Philadelphia is Possession of a Controlled Substance.  What are the consequences if a defendant is convicted? Does the amount of the controlled substance affect the penalties?  See answer in this article.
  • Defenses to Philadelphia Drug Charges – By a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer If you face drug charges in Philadelphia, it does not mean that you will be convicted of the charges.  Pursuant to PA criminal law, defendants are innocent until proven guilty.  There are defenses to drug charges, and having an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer on your side is key to achieving the best result.  There may be issues with evidence which can be suppressed.  For instance, drug evidence may be illegally obtained by the police and can be thrown out. In this article, David Nenner, Esq. discusses defenses in Philadelphia criminal drug cases.
  • Philadelphia, PA Drug Charges: What is Drug Delivery Resulting in Death? There are varying degrees of seriousness for Philadelphia drug cases.  For instance, simple possession of a small amount of marijuana is less serious than possessing a larger amount of marijuana with intent to deliver.  One of the more serious drug charges is drug delivery resulting in death.  This article explains drug delivery resulting in death and what punishments convicted defendants face.
  • Criminal Drug Cases in Philadelphia – Suppression Issues & Post-Arrest Silence Individuals facing Philadelphia drug charges, such as simple possession or possession with intent to deliver (PWID), often want to know if they have legal grounds to fight their case.  Motions like a Motion to Suppress can be filed prior to trial which may result in the case being dismissed.  Drug evidence illegally obtained by the police may be suppressed.  For example, if the police found the drug evidence in a home after entering the home without a warrant, then the evidence was not legally obtained.
  • How is “Possession” Defined in Philadelphia Federal Criminal Drug Cases? In general, PA drug laws are similar to federal drug laws.  Both PA and federal drug laws have a charge for drug possession.  What is possession of a controlled substance?  What evidence does the prosecution have to present to prove that the accused had possession of the drugs? Does it have to be on them, i.e., in their pocket?  Does the accused have possession if the drugs were found in their home?  See answers to these questions in this article.

Suppressing Drug Evidence in Philadelphia Criminal Cases

Just because individuals are arrested for drug charges does not mean that they will be convicted.  Defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and the prosecutor has the burden to prove the defendant’s guilt.  Sometimes, drug evidence is illegally obtained and may be suppressed. If critical evidence, such as cocaine in a drug prosecution, is suppressed, the defendant is not likely to be convicted.

Here’s an example of how evidence in drug related cases can be suppressed.  A group of individuals are hanging outside a bar.  They have had a few drinks and are being rowdy.  A police officer drives by and sees that the group suddenly becomes very quiet. The police officer exits his vehicle and approaches the group.  He sees an individual standing in the back of the group and starts to question him.  The police officer then pats down the individual and feels a bulge in his back pocket that feels like a gun.  The officer proceeds to conduct a search and reaches in the individual’s back pocket to remove the gun.  The officer also finds a large wad of money and several baggies of meth in the pocket.

Pursuant to Philadelphia criminal law, a police officer can stop and frisk an individual if he has reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot.  During the stop, if there are reasons that give rise to probable cause that a crime was committed, then the police office can search the individual, i.e., reach into pockets.

In this situation, the weapon, money and drugs will most likely be suppressed because the police officer conducted an illegal stop.  The circumstances did not give the police officer sufficient knowledge that criminal activity is afoot.  The individual was hanging out with his friends outside a bar.  The officer did not see any drug transactions, and the individual did not attempt to run away.

The situation would be different if the individual walked away as the police officer approached the group and if the police officer saw the individual reach in his pocket and throw something out as he was walking away.  Those circumstances may give the officer reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, i.e., a drug sale transaction.

Click here to see all other Philadelphia, PA criminal defense legal articles related to state and federal drug charges.

Last reviewed and updated: August 20, 2020