If you face a drug offense in Pennsylvania, you must understand the case against you and the penalties against you. You could be subject to substantial fines and an extended jail sentence if convicted. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C.’s Harleysville, PA, drug crimes lawyers could help you avoid some or all the most severe charges and penalties. We can handle your case from start to finish and work exhaustively on your behalf, fighting for your rights and pursuing an outcome favorable to your circumstances.
You Can Get Help from Our Harleysville, PA, Drug Crimes Lawyer
When you retain our attorney, they will investigate your charges and the state’s case against you. If we identify problems or technicalities involved with your arrest or police investigation, this could result in reduced charges or your case being dropped altogether. We defend clients charged with the following:
- Drug possession of marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and other controlled substances
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession with intent to distribute (PWID)
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug distribution or trafficking or conspiracy to traffic
- Illegal drug use
- Solicitation of minors to traffic drugs
Regardless of the charges against you, you deserve legal representation. Our firm serving Montgomery County, PA, can handle these tasks and more:
- Protect your legal rights, such as challenging unreasonable search and seizures
- Ask the court to waive bail or set the minimum amount
- Fight for driving privileges if they were suspended or restricted
- Collect evidence, such as witness statements, photos, or surveillance video
- Finding other available options, such as plea bargains and having your case heard in a drug court
If we work on your case, we will ensure you receive the information you need to make well-informed decisions. When you become our client, you will be able to access a lawyer from our firm whenever you need guidance.
How Can a Plea Agreement in a Harleysville, PA, Drug Crimes Case Improve Your Outcome?
Plea bargaining involves reducing the number or severity of a defendant’s charges, often resulting in lesser fines, jail sentences, or other penalties. However, some plea bargains require more from defendants, such as agreeing to testify for the state against other offenders.
To convict you of this crime, the prosecutor must prove you knew the drugs were illegal and that you had actual or “constructive possession” of them. After weighing the evidence, your attorney may advise you to accept a plea bargain if it is in your best interests. They will also ensure you understand the benefits and drawbacks of pleading guilty or not guilty and how each will impact the severity of your penalties and criminal record. If you enter a not-guilty plea, we could support you and work to have your case dismissed.
Factors That Affect Charges and Penalties in a Harleysville, PA, Drug Crimes Case
Drug-related offenses vary greatly, and several circumstances can affect whether charges receive a misdemeanor or felony classification. For example, factors involved in charges include the amount of drugs you possessed and if you were involved with manufacturing, distributing, or trafficking. Furthermore, previous drug-related convictions factor into the severity of your penalties. Other factors include whether you:
- Grew or manufactured drugs
- Trafficked drugs across state lines
- Had a previous drug-related conviction
In Pennsylvania, drug crimes are assigned gravity scores indicating how serious they are. Because the state’s crime penalty schedule is complicated, you should discuss your charges with a lawyer to ensure you know your score.
Drug Possession in PA Penalties
Pennsylvania drug laws (1972 Act 64) criminalize the willful possession, cultivation, distribution, delivery, sale, or transportation of controlled substances. These include Schedule I and Schedule II drugs such as marijuana, meth, cocaine, and heroin, prescription drugs, certain chemicals or isomers used in drug manufacturing, and drug paraphernalia.
Possession of marijuana, considered to be a small amount for personal use (30 grams or less), comes with a maximum penalty of up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines. Possession of more than 30 grams comes with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $5,000 in fines.
Possession of other controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, MDMA, and prescription drugs, come with various penalties depending on the amount possessed, ranging from one year in prison and a $5,000 fine to five years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Other legal penalties for drug possession include an inability to own a firearm, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory drug treatment. Future consequences of any drug conviction, especially felonies, can include, but are not limited to:
- Loss of current job and future unemployment opportunities
- High insurance premiums
- Loss of parental rights
- Inability to obtain financial aid during incarceration
- Loss of voting privileges during incarceration
- Limited housing options due to criminal record
Other Pennsylvania Drug Crimes
Drug crimes can be much more serious than simple possession in terms of charges and potential penalties. Common offenses include the following:
Pennsylvania defines drug manufacturing as the illegal manufacture of a controlled substance. To be convicted of this charge, the state must demonstrate the defendant intentionally manufactured the drug. Drug manufacturing charges may result from various circumstances, such as running a drug lab or growing products such as plants intended for use in manufacturing.
A conviction of drug trafficking requires the prosecutor to prove the defendant knowingly and intentionally transported or sold illegal drugs. Penalties primarily depend on the amount of drugs involved in the crime. It’s not uncommon to be subjected to drug trafficking charges if you were found with a large amount of controlled substances when arrested.
In order to prove drug distribution or PWID, the prosecution must demonstrate you grew, manufactured, bought, or received an illegal drug intending to deliver it to someone else. Like trafficking, the state may contend that possessing large amounts of a substance may indicate you intended to distribute it.
When our Harleysville, PA, drug crimes attorney defends clients, the whole firm gets involved in their cases. As your defense team, we will ensure your case receives the attention it deserves, and we will work to limit the personal, financial, and social consequences of a potential conviction.
Contact Us Today for Help From a Harleysville, PA, Drug Crimes Attorney
If you are facing drug-related charges, you can receive legal support from a criminal defense attorney who can fight the charges against you. When McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., accepts your case, you will always be able to get in touch with your lawyer using email, text, phone, or social media. Everyone deserves legal representation regardless of their circumstances. So, contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review to learn more about your legal rights and options.