Philadelphia continues to face considerable drug issues and criminal activity. If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime you could be facing significant penalties that could alter the course of your life.
If you hope to avoid the fallout of a conviction but do not know where to turn for help, reach out to an experienced Philadelphia drug crimes lawyer at the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder. Schedule your confidential consultation to discuss your defensive options further.
Common Types of Drug Crimes in Philadelphia
If you have been arrested and accused of a drug crime in Philadelphia, there are multiple drug crimes you could be charged with. Some of them are common types of Philadelphia drug crimes include:
- Drug possession – Simple drug possession is the knowledge or intentional possession of a controlled substance and is considered a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law.
- Drug manufacturing – Drug manufacturing charges apply when you are accused of growing or producing drugs. The severity of the charges against you will depend on the type and amount of drug in your possession.
- Drug trafficking – If you are found with a large quantity of drugs, more than a single person would possess for personal use, you may face drug trafficking charges.
- Drug distribution – Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (PWID) is a felony under Pennsylvania law. To obtain a conviction, the prosecutor must prove that you manufactured, purchased, grew, or received controlled substances with the intent to deliver them to another person.
For a free legal consultation with a drug crimes lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 215.515.3360
Pennsylvania Controlled Substances
Under Pennsylvania law, controlled substances are separated into five categories known as schedules. Schedule l drugs are considered the most dangerous. They have no recognized medical use and have a high propensity for addiction or abuse. Some examples of Schedule l drugs could include cocaine or heroin.
The lower level schedules of drugs become less dangerous, have increased medical use, and lower risks of abuse and addiction. Some examples of Schedule V controlled substances could include cough syrups or anti-diarrheal medications.
Philadelphia Drug Crimes Lawyer 215.515.3360
Penalties You’ll Face If Convicted Of a Philadelphia Drug Crime
Unfortunately, if you are found guilty of a drug crime in Philadelphia, the consequences could be severe. The penalties you can face will vary widely depending on several factors such as:
- Whether there was use of force
- Whether a weapon was involved
- How much of the drug
- The type of drug
- Whether the defendant has prior convictions
- The location of the crime
If you are convicted of possession of a controlled substance such as heroin, you could face felony charges, punishable by up to five years in prison. If you are convicted of possession of 30 g or less of marijuana, however, you can spend just 30 days in jail and pay fines as high as $500.
Potential Defenses Against Drug Crimes in Philadelphia
Defending yourself against Philadelphia drug crime charges can be challenging. There are multiple ways in which you could approach your defense strategy. Many people charged with drug crimes may be eligible for pretrial diversion programs.
Here, by completing drug treatment, anger management, mental health counseling, paying fines, attending counseling sessions, and otherwise completing the terms of the program, the charges against you could be reduced or dismissed entirely. Pretrial diversion programs are often available to people who are first-time offenders of non-violent crimes.
However, if presenting a powerful defense strategy is your best option to avoid a conviction, there are multiple defenses that may be available to challenge the drug crime charges against you. Some of these could include:
- Illegal search and seizure
- Failure to read you your Miranda rights
- Other constitutional rights violations
- Unlawful stop
- Lack of intent
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of actual possession
- Mistakes in identifying the substance in question
- Having a medical marijuana prescription
These are just a few of the more common types of defensive options that may be available to you. Your attorney will need to closely evaluate the details of your case to determine how to best approach your drug crime defense.
Philadelphia Drug Crime FAQ
If you have been charged with a drug crime, you may have many unanswered questions about your case. We have provided the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding drug crimes in Philadelphia below. If you have additional questions that were not answered on this page you can contact our office to discuss your concerns in further detail.
Why should I hire a lawyer when I can use a public defender for free?
Public defenders are often overwhelmed and overworked. They do not have the resources available to them that private criminal defense lawyers may have. When you hire a drug crime lawyer to take on your case, you can ensure your defense gets the attention it deserves.
Should I accept a plea agreement?
Before you accept a plea agreement, be sure to discuss the details of your case with your criminal defense lawyer. The terms of a plea agreement often have specific requirements in place. You will want to go over the details of the plea agreement with your attorney to determine whether this plea agreement is going to produce the most favorable outcome in your case.
Can a drug crime conviction be expunged from my record?
Yes, certain types of drug crime convictions may be eligible for expungement from your record. You can reach out to your Philadelphia drug crime attorney if you have a prior drug crime conviction on your record that you are interested in expunging.
Contact a Drug Crime Lawyer in Philadelphia for Help
A drug crime conviction could have a devastating impact on your life for years to come. The consequences could affect not only you but your family. If you hope to get back to your life and clear your name of the charges against you, it is important to prepare a powerful defense strategy.
Work with a dedicated Philadelphia drug crimes lawyer at the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder. Get your confidential case review today when you call our office or complete our secure contact form.