A Big Difference: Drug Charges in Pennsylvania
If it seems like arrest on criminal charges is more common than it used to be — it is.
A 2011 study found roughly 30 percent, almost one-third of Americans, are arrested on charges by age 23 — not including minor traffic violations. The figure marks a big difference from a similar 1965 study that found 22 percent of Americans had been arrested by that age.
Drug violations are common arrest charges faced by our clients in Berks County. The difference in misdemeanor and felony charges are important — and sometimes very little evidence makes a big difference. Educating clients about their arrest charges is a fundamental part of good criminal defense.
Differences between charges of drug possession and delivery in Pennsylvania include:
- Possession. Often a misdemeanor, conviction on possession still leads to a criminal record. For conviction, evidence must prove an individual intentionally and knowingly possessed a controlled or illegal substance without a valid prescription, and that the substance was under their control.
- Possession with intent to deliver. Possession with intent to deliver or delivery is a felony charge subject to mandatory sentencing depending on drug quantity and the location of the offense. The police contend the presence of scales, packaging materials, and other commercial paraphernalia support charging possession with intent to deliver.
Arrest rates have changed since 1965 and so have penalties on drug charges. If facing any drug violation, experienced legal counsel can make a big difference in the charges — and the outcome — you face.