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    drug Charges

    Pennsylvania Drug Charge law Firm

    “Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Philadelphia” by Super Lawyers (2015-2022)

    Last updated: November 16, 2021

    In Philadelphia, drug possession and drug dealing charges are the most common types of criminal cases. Unfortunately, the penalties are quite harsh, especially for those who have prior criminal records.

    November 2021 News: Philadelphia City Council passes Driving Equality Bill (effective March 3, 2022). The new law prevents police from stopping drivers for minor traffic violations like expired registrations, missing bumpers, etc. 

    Drug charges are filed against people of color in Philadelphia. In fact, thousands of people are arrested in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties for drug related charges, including drug possession and possession with the intent to deliver (drug dealing). This includes both state and federal court cases.

    Drug possession and drug delivery cases accepted in Philadelphia, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County & Scranton/Lackawanna County. FREE CONSULTATIONS (215) 564-0644


    Latest Criminal Drug Law Post

    drugs on tableTypically, Philadelphia state or federal drug charges involve crack cocaine, cocaine powder, heroin, or marijuana. In recent years, there’s been a huge increase in the number of drug cases for prescription narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, or Percocet. This is true across all of Pennsylvania, including Chester, Scranton, etc.

    Drug case arrests in the Philadelphia area often include related gun charges. In many Pennsylvania state drug cases, a conviction for a drug crime committed with a handgun may result in a mandatory minimum 5-10 year prison sentence. However, there have been major changes in the legality of these mandatory minimum prison sentences. In federal criminal drug cases, the sentences are much harsher, especially when a drug case involves the death of another individual.

    Drug-Dealing Charges in Philadelphia

    Though every case is unique, drug-dealing charges in Philadelphia can arise under a number of circumstances, including:

    • a car stop in downtown Philadelphia where the police don’t see anyone selling drugs but officers recover a large quantity of drugs that they believe is consistent with drug dealing;
    • police serve an arrest or search warrant on a house in the Philadelphia suburbs and find large amounts of drugs, money and/or drug paraphernalia;
    • police use a confidential informant or an undercover officer to buy drugs from a house in North Philadelphia or on the street; and
    • police set up a surveillance of a corner in West Philadelphia and watch hand-to-hand transactions.

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers – Strategy & Skill

    Constitutional Law Issues – Getting Evidence Thrown Out

    Each situation requires different defense strategies and pre-trial motions to present an aggressive challenge to the case. The Nenner Law Firm has successfully litigated thousands of pre-trial motions, including motions to suppress critical evidence or motions to reveal the identity of the confidential informant. The Nenner Law Firm has been able to get cases dismissed for lack of evidence or a violation of constitutional rights.

    The best strategy in a drug case is to get the drug evidence thrown out because it was seized during an illegal stop and search (i.e., a motion to suppress the illegally obtained drugs, weapons, etc.). Visit the Philadelphia Criminal Drug Charge Law Library for more legal info.

    Therefore, suppression issues must be investigated thoroughly. It takes a great deal of experience and trial skill to win a suppression hearing and get drug evidence thrown out of the case. Police officers who testify at suppression hearings must be cross-examined effectively. Inconsistencies and factual errors must be shown to the trial judge. In many suppression hearings, it is often necessary to present a witness or other evidence.

    For example, a Philadelphia resident is in a car with a friend, parked on a street in downtown Philadelphia. They are parked lawfully. A police car pulls up alongside the parked car and the officer rolls his window down. The officer gets out of his vehicle and searches the car, finding a large quantity of marijuana. The driver is arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver. In the police report, the arresting police officer indicates that he noticed a strong odor of burning marijuana when he rolled his window down. However, an eyewitness comes forward and is willing to testify that they did not smell marijuana and had been standing just a foot away for several minutes before and during the incident. So long as the eyewitness is credible, the chances of suppression would be good. The key in this particular drug suppression scenario is exposing any holes in the police officer’s testimony and presenting a credible witness to rebut the officer’s version of events.

    Drug Sentencing Laws in PA

    In Pennsylvania drug cases, federal and state mandatory sentencing laws which are based on the weight of the drugs often result in stiff prison sentences, not county jail terms. In Philadelphia, even if you face a first drug offense, a conviction for possession with the intent to deliver (PWID) may result in a prison sentence in a state correctional institute.

    With your freedom at stake, it’s important to have a criminal lawyer who will consider every opportunity to keep you out of jail and defend your rights from the moment of your arrest.

    Our Philadelphia Criminal Defense Law Firm – FREE CONSULTATIONS

    The Nenner Law Firm will be there for you every step of the way. We personally handle your case at all stages including the pre-arrest investigation, bail and Nebbia hearing, preliminary hearing, trial and even appeal/PCRA – should it be necessary.

    Having a lawyer who will fight for you from the day of your arrest is vital. For that reason, we offer a free initial consultation, where we will sit down with you or your family and explain the different options available to you in defending against the charges.

    Firm partner David S. Nenner is recognized as a Top Criminal Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia.

    Call us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case: (215) 564-0644.

    Locations Served

    Our criminal lawyers routinely handle murder cases and drug and gun cases throughout the southeastern Pennsylvania region including:

    David S. Nenner

    "Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer"


    Mr. Nenner's client was charged with multiple crimes (murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery, etc.) after a shooting death occurred at a gambling house in North Philadelphia. At trial, Mr. Nenner successfully presented a self-defense argument and convinced...


    Mr. Nenner’s client was charged with murder and gun charges in Philadelphia. The client was accused of shooting and killing another male on Arch Street near the 5600 block of Ithan Street in Philadelphia. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty after deliberating...

    Drug Possession Case – Motion to Suppress Granted

    Mr. Nenner presented evidence that to show that the traffic stop was a pretextual stop. The officer had no reason to pull the car over. The judge agreed and suppressed the evidence. As a result, the prosecution withdrew the charges.

    Attempted Murder Case – Not Guilty Jury Verdict

    Mr. Nenner presented a self-defense argument, and the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict after a 7 day trial in Philadelphia.

    3rd Degree Murder Case – Charges Dismissed for Co-Defendants

    Mr. Nenner represented co-defendants in a shooting death in North Philadelphia. Both cases were ultimately dismissed.

    Philadelphia Criminal Trials – Evidence Pointing to Another Perpetrator in Drug Possession or Drug Manufacture Cases

    In criminal trials in Philadelphia, one pretty common defense tactic is pointing the finger at another person at trial. This can raise enough doubt to result in a not guilty verdict by the judge or jury that the defendant was not the perpetrator of the crime. Here’s...

    Philadelphia Murder & Gun Possession Cases Increasing in 2021 – A Look at Common Charges & Defenses

    A look at PA criminal law for Murder (1st, 2nd, 3rd Degree), Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Possession of a Firearm, Carrying a Firearm Without a License, Carrying a Firearm in Philadelphia (misdemeanor).

    Pennsylvania Murder Charges, Deceased Person’s Statements Used to Prove Guilt

    Defense Trial Strategies – Excluding Statements That Accuse the Defendant Prosecutors often look to a deceased individual’s statements made prior to a murder to show that the defendant is guilty. These statements may point to a history of violence between the deceased...

    Pennsylvania (State) Drug Charges, Dog Sniffs & Constitutional Law

    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...

    Dog Sniff Searches of Cars in Pennsylvania Traffic Stops (Federal Law)

    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...