In Pennsylvania, drug possession is a misdemeanor, not a felony, so if you've been charged, you may be tempted to try and handle it yourself. That's a bad idea. Drug possession is a serious offense that can result in serious penalties. More importantly, just because you've been caught with drugs doesn't mean a prosecutor can prove you are guilty. Whatever your situation, a skilled drug possession attorney can always improve things.
Under Pennsylvania law, it is illegal to knowingly possess any controlled substance without proper legal authority. That applies to illegal drugs, including methamphetamines or cocaine. It also applies to legal substances such as prescription drugs and medical marijuana if you haven't been authorized to have them.
The specific penalties for simple possession depend on various factors, including what drug you possess and how much of it you have. For example, if you've been caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana, you could receive a sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. The maximum penalty for a first possession offense is one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
For subsequent offenses, you could receive a prison sentence of up to three years and fines of up to $25,000. You should also know that if you possess a certain amount of a drug, more than it would be reasonable for you to use yourself, you will automatically be charged with possession with intent to deliver, which is treated as a felony.
Just because you've been caught in possession of a controlled substance, it doesn't mean you will be convicted or that you'll receive the maximum penalty. There are a number of valid defenses against possession charges.
- Small quantity: The drugs you were found with may be in such small quantities that they aren't actually covered by drug laws.
- Legal right to possession: You can't be convicted of possession if you have a valid prescription for the substance.
- Illegal process: It could be that the police or prosecutors used some unlawful means to charge you.
- Lack of intent: In Pennsylvania, possession is a "specific intent" law. That means to convict you, a prosecutor must prove you knew the drug was in your possession and knew what it was. That's not always easy.
Call the D'Intino Law Firm
If you're charged with drug possession, don't try to handle it yourself. John D'Intino is exceptionally skilled in drug possession defense. He knows the law, and he's defended hundreds of clients against such charges. John D'Intino will fight for your rights and get you the very best possible resolution to your case.
If you've violated the Pennsylvania Drug Possession Law and have been charged, contact the D'Intino Law Firm in Pennsylvania today at 267-491-9111.