Drug trafficking, sometimes called Possession with the Intent to Deliver, or PWID for short, is a serious criminal offense in Philadelphia that can result in felony charges, conviction, and other collateral consequences. If you or a loved one is facing drug selling charges, there may still be defenses available to you that can help you avoid conviction or higher sentences.
A Philadelphia drug delivery lawyer from the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC, can defend your case in an effort to reduce or eliminate your charges. If this is a first-time offense, you may be able to have the trafficking charges reduced to a drug possession charge. We offer the first consultation for free to review your case and explain your legal options.
Our Legal Team Can Build a Case to Defend You
When you hire a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC to represent you, we get to work right away because we understand how timely criminal cases can be.
Our legal duties may involve:
- Investigating your case by reviewing footage from a law enforcement officer’s body-worn cameras, watching surveillance footage that captured the arrest, and interviewing eyewitnesses
- Collecting evidence and subpoenaing witnesses on your behalf that can support your case
- Being present during questioning with law enforcement officers to prevent interrogation
- Attending hearings as your legal representative and advocating for your interests, such as charge reductions or a case dismissal
- Presenting your case in front of a judge and jury during the criminal trial
- Filing motions to subpoena any additional information that may serve as evidence for your case, such as financial records, cellphone transcripts, or personal recordings
Throughout your case, our team will be available to answer any questions you have.
For a free legal consultation with a drug trafficking lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 215.515.3360
Penalties for Drug Delivery Charges in Philadelphia
Pennsylvania no longer observes mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, but penalties for schedule I and II drugs can range by the weight amount found in your possession. For example:
- 2 to 10 grams: Sentencing could involve two years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
- 10 to 100 grams: Sentencing could involve three years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.
- 100+ grams: Sentencing could involve five years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine.
In some cases, fines may be less, depending on the type of substance. For example, penalties for being in possession of two pounds of marijuana may involve a fine. Additionally, prison time and fine amounts may increase with each offense committed.
Philadelphia Drug Trafficking Lawyer 215.515.3360
Understanding the Drug Trafficking Charges Brought Against You
In Philadelphia, drug trafficking charges can involve any of the following substances:
- Opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl
- Cocaine, including crack-cocaine
- Prescription drugs, such as oxycodone
- Schedule I and II narcotics
In many cases, drug trafficking charges are felony charges, even for first-time offenders. If you or a loved one face these charges, you should understand the severity of these charges as well as what the prosecution has to prove in order for you to be found guilty.
Actual Vs. Constructive Possession
Your charges may involve actual or constructive possession. There are differences between these types of possession, which can frame the basis of your defense argument. In general:
- Actual possession means the law enforcement officer found the illegal contraband on your person, such as in your pockets or hands.
- Constructive possession means the law enforcement officer found the illegal contraband near you but not necessarily on your person, such as in your vehicle or home. With constructive possession, the prosecutor must also prove that you were aware of the contraband.
Regardless of where the drugs were found in relation to you, the prosecution must present beyond reasonable doubt that you had the ability and intention to possess and/or sell drugs. Our team will review your case to determine how to develop your defense strategy.
Do You Have to Actually Sell or Give Someone Drugs to Be Charged?
Even if you did not sell any drugs, you could still be charged with drug trafficking in Philadelphia. The offense lies mostly in having the contraband on or near your person with the reasonable belief that you were going to sell or deliver it.
However, because the prosecution’s argument will involve speculation, part of your defense may involve proving how you might have been unaware of the drugs, which is common in cases where someone planted the contraband on the defendant. We will investigate your situation to see where your defenses may lie.
What the Prosecution Has to Prove
Specific points that the prosecution must prove for you to be charged with drug trafficking in Philadelphia include:
- You were involved in the drug trafficking process, whether that means you grew or manufactured the drugs or obtained them with the intention of selling them.
- You were actively delivering, had already delivered, or intended on delivering drugs to another party.
- There is evidence that you were in possession of illegal contraband or an item that indicates you were involved with drug delivery, such as high quantities of cash or supplies to package and distribute drugs.
Common defenses against these points aim at discrediting any allegations made against you, with some common examples involving:
- You were unaware of the drugs and had no way of possessing them, or that they were planted on you.
- You were borrowing someone else’s property (e.g., a jacket, pants, vehicle, rental property), so the contraband belongs to that person, not you.
- You were delivering an unopened package but did not know what the contents inside were.
- You were at the wrong place at the wrong time when law enforcement found you in the vicinity of illegal contraband.
Our team may suggest other defense strategies based on the situation you describe to us and the information we gather.
Call the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC, to Get a Free Consultation Today
If you or someone you know is facing drug delivery charges in Philadelphia, you can hire a criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC, to defend your case. Our office dedicates its energy to fighting for our clients’ rights so that they can return to their daily lives. A Philadelphia drug trafficking lawyer from our team can advocate for you in court and possibly work to reduce or even eliminate your charges.
Call our law firm today to get a free consultation.