Drug crime penalties and repercussions typically take a hard line, no matter the offense or age of the offender. The results can be devastating for young adults who have simply made a mistake. Regardless the amount of the drug in question, a person found in possession of a controlled substance can be charged with a range of crimes, including possession with intent to distribute or sell, or drug trafficking, depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Drug defense attorneys in State College say the penalties for any drug charges are severe and could potentially take your life down a much different path.
In Pennsylvania, the penalties for having drugs on your person or in your possession are severe, even if you have no intent to sell or distribute them to anyone else. A possession charge is considered a non-violent drug crime that often carries harsher sentencing requirements than violent offenses like burglary or some types of assault. For example, if you get caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana, you can end up spending 30 days in jail and paying fines up to $500.
When police officers arrest a suspect for possession with intent to deliver or sell, they look at a wide variety of factors to support their charge. "Intent to sell" charges are usually influenced by the type and quantity of the drug found. Additionally, packaging can indicate that the drugs were intended to be moved quickly and in small quantities. Other factors like guns or scales discovered with the drugs could indicate an operation in place. A trafficking charge is typically a felony, even if it is a first-time offense, and could carry a prison sentence of anywhere from 7 to 20 years.
In fighting a possession charge, you have a variety of options available, drug defense lawyers say. If the drugs were found during an unauthorized search of your person, home or car, you could fight back with unlawful search and seizure claims. You can also claim entrapment, which is when a law enforcement official forces a person to engage in criminal activity in which he or she would have never otherwise engaged.
Additionally, you can claim a lack of intent or knowledge about the drugs-especially if you had no idea there were drugs in your home or car. Smaller quantities of a drug like marijuana could result in lower charges that may get dismissed altogether. Further, if the drugs are not yours, you can use that information as part of your defense.
Let Us Help You
If you have been charged with any drug crime in Pennsylvania, you need the help of an attorney to prevent you from suffering serious consequences. At Rehmeyer & Allat, Attorneys at Law, we represent clients facing penalties and charges for possessing, using or selling illegal drugs. For a free, no-strings consultation on your case, contact one of our defense attorneys in State College today.