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What Are the Penalties for a Drug Possession Crime?

If you were recently charged with drug possession, you’re probably wondering what the potential repercussions may be. Drug possession is a serious offense, but depending on the specifics of the charges laid against you the penalties for a conviction can vary significantly. The best thing you can do after being charged with a drug possession crime is to call an attorney immediately to seek legal counsel and protect your rights. That said, you should also do your due diligence to understand precisely what you’re up against if you are facing criminal charges.

The Penalties

In Pennsylvania, drug possession crimes can be punishable by jail time, fines, and marks on your criminal record. Depending on the type of drugs involved, the quantity, and the intent, the precise punishment may vary.

Marijuana possession may result in the following punishments:

  • 30 grams or less:

    • 30 days in jail

    • Up to $500 in fines

  • 30 grams or more:

    • Up to 1 year in jail

    • Up to $5,000 in fines

Possession of heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, and other narcotics can result in the following:

  • First offense:

    • Up to 1 year in jail

    • Up to $5,000 in fines

  • Second and subsequent offense:

    • Up to 3 years in prison

    • Up to $25,000 in fines

The court will also consider the intent of the person in possession of the drugs. If, for example, that individual intended to sell and distribute the drugs ,the penalties can be more severe. An individual might also be charged for the possession of drug paraphernalia and can be penalized with costly fines.

Possible Defenses

Depending on your case and the details of your situation, you may be able to employ a number of strategic defenses to your case. Your attorney might argue your innocence based on a lack of intent or lack of knowledge. Likewise, if the drugs actually belonged to another person, or if the situation was due to entrapment, your attorney could make a case in your favor. Or, if the drugs were prescribed by a doctor, or the defendant is a licensed medical practitioner, a solid defense could be made on the defendant’s behalf.

If you are facing drug possession charges, you need to act fast to protect your freedom and your future. Our team can help. We have more than 15 years of experience to apply to your case, and our firm has been involved with several prestigious organizations, including The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. Moreover, we provide free initial consultations, and we’re available 24/7 to take your call. If you need zealous legal representation, our lawyer has the drive and experience you need in your corner.

Call (570) 666-1068 to discuss your case with our attorney at Law Offices of William D. Thompson.

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