Defending Yourself Against Pennsylvania Drug Distribution or Trafficking Charges
The “war on drugs” is in full force in Pennsylvania. At a recent press conference, Pennsylvania law enforcement officials displayed handguns, a sawed off shotgun, $50,000 in cash, $300,000 worth of cocaine, $75,000 worth of heroin and a vehicle equipped with a trap-door in which to hide contraband. This was just part of the haul seized in a major drug bust involving a large number of middle-level drug traffickers connected to a web of gangs stretching from New York to Mexico.
In May, the Berks county District Attorney announced charges against 25 people accused of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity. In June, a federal grand jury in York city indicted several alleged members of the Latin Kings street gang for drug trafficking. In July, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office charged 16 people with drug crimes including drug delivery and conspiracy after a year-long investigation in which the police infiltrated the drug traffickers’ network and used wire taps to discern patterns of illegal activity.
What defenses are there to drug trafficking charges?
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, experienced legal counsel can explore the following legal defenses with you:
- Lack of knowledge. A court cannot convict you of drug trafficking if you were not aware of the fact that you or your alleged co-conspirator had any drugs in your possession—the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were aware of the fact that you or your co-conspirators possessed illegal substances.
- Lack of intent to deliver the drugs to someone else. If you did not have the intent to deliver illegal drugs to someone else, a court cannot convict you on drug trafficking charges (note that you still may be convicted of the lesser charge of possession).
- Unlawful search and seizure. If law enforcement officers obtained evidence against you during an unlawful search or seizure, that evidence is generally excluded.
- Entrapment. If you can demonstrate that your criminal conduct occurred because a police agent induced you to deliver illegal drugs, you cannot be convicted on drug trafficking charges.
Drug distribution or trafficking charges are felony crimes in Pennsylvania which carry state prison penalties. Call a skilled Berks County criminal defense lawyer today to help you fight your drug trafficking charges and make sure that every legal defense available to you is properly presented.