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Arrested for Drug Possession in Pennsylvania?
Fight Back With an Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer!
Pennsylvania drug possession penalties can be harsh. In many cases, there are mandatory minimum penalties if you are convicted. A weak legal defense can be costly, and limit your freedom and future opportunities.
Even with a relatively minor charge of simple possession of marijuana, you are still facing a mandatory 6 month loss of license & driving privileges. For that reason alone, for most people, it makes sense to fight the charges or challenge the case in court. Consult with an experienced lawyer who knows how to beat drug cases, before making any decision about pleading guilty. Our firm can often find ways to beat the charges or get the case dismissed so you can keep your license.
To prove a charge of simple possession, the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- the defendant knowingly and deliberately/intentionally possessed a controlled substance (without a valid prescription)
- the defendant knew the drug was an illegal controlled substance
- the defendant had actually control or possession of the drug
I will challenge the DA to prove each element of these charges. See my drug legal defense strategies below.
How to Beat a Drug Charge in PA
Drug Possession Defense Strategies
There are a number of different legal tactics that I can use to beat a drug possession charge. I’ll often file a motion to suppress the evidence against you on the grounds of illegal search. The police officer must have a reasonable suspicion to believe that you may have a controlled substance in your possession before searching your car, home, or person.
I will also challenge the prosecution to prove that the drugs were yours, or even that you knew that the substance in question was an illegal drug.
The best defense tactics really depend on the facts of your specific case. Feel free to call me about your case, and I’ll give you my take. It’s completely confidential, and there is no obligation.
Pennsylvania Marijuana Possession Penalties
Possession of Marijuana (pot) Penalties in PA are as follows:
- For 30 grams or less, you are facing misdemeanor charges of up to 30 days in jail, and a fine of $500.
- For possession of more than 30 grams, the penalties go up to 1 year in jail and $5000 in fines.
- Automatic six month loss of license.
If you are a first time marijuana offender, it is possible to get a probation without a verdict. For second (2nd) offense possession charges, or multiple subsequent offenses, the penalties may double.
If you have more than 30 grams of marijuana, you run the risk of being charged with possession with intent to deliver or distribute in many cases.
See my marijuana possession page for more details.
Pennsylvania Drug Possession Penalties
Possession of other Controlled Substances Penalties (Heroin, Cocaine, LSD/Acid, Ecstasy/MMDA, Meth, and prescription drugs including Vicodin and Oxycontin or illegal steroids).
- Up to one year in prison, and/or a $5,000 fine first (1st) offense
- Up to two years in prison for a second (2nd) offense
- Up to three years in prison for a third (3rd) offense
Possession of more than five grams of crack (cocaine) may be subject to a minimum penalty of 5 years in prison.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, or Selling/distributing Marijuana:
- Up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2500.
- For selling to a minor, under Pennsylvania Drug laws, it can be a felony charge of up to 2 years in jail and a $5000 fine.
Also see my Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute page.
For a free, criminal defense legal consultation on any drug possession or other drug charge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, call us:
We represent clients in criminal cases in courts across Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Carlisle and Lancaster, and Bucks, Montgomery, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties.