America, and more specifically the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is fighting a war on drugs and incarcerating everyone in its path. Evident by the jail population, drug crime convictions is one of the leading causes of incarceration in many of Pennsylvania's jails and prisons. Drug charges range from possession of a controlled substance, distribution of narcotics, sale of marijuana or possession of paraphernalia. A drug charge could be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the drug, the amount and other circumstances.
Today, most laws attempt to impose mandatory or enhanced sentences on those convicted of Possession with Intent to Deliver and/or drug delivery. If guns are involved in the case, the laws are even more severe. If charged with a drug violation, you need an experienced defense attorney immediately. With Waldman Law Group, P.C. at your side, you'll have the peace of mind that your interests are protected. If you want aggressive defense, call Attorney Andrea E. Mertz today!
Possession of a Controlled Substance
A person who knowingly is in possession of a controlled substance or drug is guilty of the charge of Possession. Possession of a Controlled Substance, as long as it is not possessed with the intent to sell or deliver, is graded as a misdemeanor. The controlled substance can be marijuana, pills, cocaine, heroin, etc.
A person in possession of paraphernalia commonly used to assist in the use or consumption of drugs, such as a pipe, needle, baggies, scale, cigarette rolling papers, etc., may be found guilty of possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia. This charge is always graded as a misdemeanor.
Drug Delivery is the exchange of a controlled substance from one person to another. As long as there is some type of transaction, regardless if money is involved, a drug delivery has taken place. A drug delivery is always graded as a felony. Penalties will depend on the type of drug, the weight or amount of the drug, and the person's prior criminal convictions.
Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance
Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance is when a person possesses a controlled substance or drug and it is that person's intent to give or sell that controlled substance to another person. There does not have to be an actual exchange or sale of drugs for this crime to occur. It is sufficient that the person is in possession of the drugs and that the evidence indicates that the person intends to exchange or sell the controlled substance. The charge of Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance is always graded as a Felony. The penalty will depend on the type of drug, the weight or amount of the drug, the person's prior criminal convictions and whether the person was within a school zone during the offense.
Loss of License for Conviction of Drug Offense
Upon a conviction for Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance, there is an automatic loss of your Pennsylvania driver's license. You will face no license suspension for a conviction for Possession of Paraphernalia. The license suspension is six months for the first conviction, and upon conviction of a second offense, one year. A third and any subsequent conviction for drug possession will result in a license suspension of two years.
So what would we do? Many drug arrests arise from an arrest for a less serious charge such as a traffic violation. Subsequent to the arrest, drugs may be found. Drug arrests may also stem from a search warrant. At Waldman Law Group, P.C. we understand your rights against unlawful search and seizures. After analyzing your case, we will determine whether the drugs were seized in violation of your constitutional protections against unlawful searches and seizures. If so, we will defend your rights in a pre-trial suppression hearing. When we are successful in suppressing the evidence of the drugs, the charges you are facing may be dismissed.
If the facts are stacked against us our next course of action would be to get those charges reduced. These crimes are very serious in nature and may carry heavy sentences if they are not defended properly. Your livelihood and future depend on retaining the best defense for your case. Attorney Andrea E. Mertz of our firm has dedicated her practice to criminal defense and has a long standing track record of successfully defending drug cases. If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, call our office for a free, no obligation case evaluation to discuss the particular circumstances involved with your case. Andrea E. Mertz will examine the evidence against you as well as the police report to determine the best course of action. We will represent you at the arraignment and if necessary, work with you and your family to arrange bail. Call or contact our office today to take the first step towards resolving your drug offense case.