In Part I of this article series, we discussed the “Schedules” of drugs pursuant to Pennsylvania and Federal law. Defendants facing drug charges in Philadelphia criminal cases face serious penalties. Part II of this article series will address the penalties individuals face if convicted of PA and/or federal drug possession and related crimes.
PA Drug Laws & Penalties
Pursuant to Pennsylvania drug law, it is illegal for individuals to possess illegal or controlled substances, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine and other drugs listed in the “Schedules” of drugs.
An individual can be found guilty of drug possession if the controlled substance is found on the person, i.e., in the person’s pocket, backpack, shoe, sock, etc. This is known as actual possession.
An individual can also be found guilty of drug possession if the drug is found somewhere the individual has control over, i.e., the individual’s home or car. This is known as constructive possession.
The penalties and sentences for drug possession vary depending on the type of drug and how much was in the defendant’s possession. The penalty is less severe for a small amount of drugs. However, even if it is only a small amount, it is still a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania drug charge law.
For instance, an individual carrying 30 grams of marijuana faces up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500. On the other hand, an individual convicted of possessing more than 30 grams of marijuana faces up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Click here to see more information about Philadelphia drug charges.
Possession of Drugs with Intent to Deliver (PWID)
The crime of Possession with Intent to Deliver Drugs (PWID) occurs when an individual possesses illegal drugs and intends to distribute or sell them. It is also known as drug trafficking, and it is a serious offense, i.e., a felony.
Individuals convicted of PWID in Pennsylvania face serious penalties. Like simple possession, the penalties depend on factors such as amount of the drug and the type of drug being delivered.
For instance, a Philadelphia resident found guilty of PWID marijuana faces up to 5 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine. An individual convicted of PWID of prescription drugs faces up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Federal Drug Laws & Penalties
An individual convicted of drug possession under state law may also face federal drug charges.
Stay tuned for an article discussing penalties under federal drug laws for simple possession and PWID.
Fighting PA or Federal Drug Charges in Philadelphia –FREE Consultations from a Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer
If you or a loved one was arrested for a state or federal drug related charge in Philadelphia or other parts of PA, please call David Nenner, a highly experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer who has handled many state and federal drug cases. Mr. Nenner offers FREE consultations. (215) 564-0644
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David Nenner, Esq. has been selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list from 2015-2016. Each year no more than 5% of the nominated lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.
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