In Pennsylvania, there are several different felonies related to drug crimes. They are defined as the following:
Possession with intent to deliver: This charge implies that the authorities uncovered or discovered a stash of drugs so large that there is implied intent to distribute or sell those drugs.
Delivery of a controlled substance: This charge implies that you gave or sold a controlled substance to another person and thus you are guilty of delivering.
Manufacturing of controlled substance: This charge implies that you were either growing a controlled substance (for example marijuana) or manufacturing or “cooking” synthetic drugs like methamphetamine.
Sentencing Penalties for Drug Crimes in Pennsylvania
Penalties for both drug possession and distribution can vary drastically depending on a variety of factors such as the type of drug, the quantity of the drug, if firearms were found with the drugs, the prior criminal history of the accused, etc. Distribution to minors or within a school zone can also lead to more serious charges.
Narcotics Sentencing and Fines Vary Widely
Narcotics violations can result in felony charges and sentencing terms of up to fifteen years in prison. Sentencing can also include prison terms in excess of fifteen years or less severe terms, this depends on the charges related to the type of drug alleged to be involved, the amount involved and the classification of the substance according to state law.
In such scenarios, penalties can range from probation to substantial jail terms and serious fines. Fines of up to a quarter of a million dollars or more (depending on the total estimates of the assets amassed from the criminal charges) may be levied as well.
A Potential Key To Defending Drug Charges
Being charged in a felony drug case, does not automatically mean you will be convicted. Just because the government alleges that something is a controlled substance, does not make it a fact. The alleged drugs must be tested by a crime lab and there is a variety of elements involved in crime lab testing. Many times, crime labs are crowded with backlogged evidence and technicians are overworked and prone to mistakes.
It’s important that your criminal defense attorney be able to review and consider all aspects of the substance in question, not just the identification but the quantification of the alleged illegal substances as well.
Lab results are meaningless without the data to back it up. Can the government actually prove that the substance they are alleging is a drug, is in fact one due to its chemical composition?
It is important for your defense team to establish the following:
- Did the lab follow protocols?
- Did the lab technicians actually test the drug?
- Was there contamination or a potential for contamination?
- Is the weight correct and was the substance weighed properly?
- What machines and procedures were used to determine these results and how accurate/ reliable are these machines and procedures?
Consult with our team of drug crime attorneys today
All of the criminal defense attorneys at DRK Lawyers are former assistant district attorneys. We understand criminal cases and defense from both sides of the courtroom. We use our trial experience and knowledge of the government’s tactics to help defend our clients every day in the state of Pennsylvania. If you are facing criminal charges, please contact our team today.