The Five Types of Pennsylvania Drug Charges
Pennsylvania drug laws are tough and often carry severe penalties, including mandatory sentencing. The law recognizes a wide spectrum of drug infractions and crimes, from misdemeanors — such as being caught with a small amount of marijuana on your person — to felony drug trafficking charges. Because there are so many circumstances that can affect how a drug arrest is categorized and handled, it is important to have a knowledgeable drug crimes attorney on your side, no matter what charge you are facing.
These are the primary types of drug crimes in Pennsylvania:
- Possession of an illegal substance or drug paraphernalia. Unauthorized possession of a controlled substance, including some prescription medications, or paraphernalia, such as a pipe
- Possession with intent to deliver (PWID). Unauthorized possession of a controlled substance in amounts that suggest an intention to sell or distribute to other people
- Selling. Charges usually based on witness testimony or sale to an undercover agent
- Distribution or trafficking. Based on amount of controlled substance in evidence
- Manufacturing. Producing a controlled substance without authorization
The penalties for these crimes depend on many additional factors, including the class of drug, the amounts seized and whether there were any prior convictions. Other aggravating circumstances that can affect charges include the presence of a firearm or proximity to a school.
Whatever drug charges you are facing, make sure you contact a Berks County drug crimes attorney with a record of helping clients navigate the process from arrest to trial.