The possession of drugs can turn into a serious issue that could derail your academic career. The type and number of drugs that you were in possession of when arrested will correlate to the type of offense that you are charged with. If you or a family member was arrested for possession of drugs, contact an experienced Philadelphia drug possession lawyer.
At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our legal team is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation that you need to fight your criminal case. We understand the uncertainty of dealing with a criminal case, and we are here for you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your drug possession case, contact Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 607-2715, or contact us online.
Pennsylvania Drug Possession Laws
In Pennsylvania, drug possession laws focus on the type and weight of drugs in a person’s possession when they are arrested. For example, possessing a few grams of heroin can be more severe than possessing a few grams of marijuana. While drugs like marijuana are slowly being decriminalized within the state and across the country, it is still a crime to possess marijuana, even in small amounts.
As mentioned, Pennsylvania has decreased the penalties for being in possession of marijuana through the Small Amount of Marijuana Program (SAM). This program protects defendants that are arrested with less than 30 grams of marijuana. If a defendant is found with this amount of marijuana, they will only be subject to a $25 fine instead of the possibility of jail time.
The SAM program can also benefit offenders that wish to avoid having an arrest for marijuana to follow them indefinitely. If the defendant meets all goals set by program administrators, they can have their criminal record expunged. Even a small amount of marijuana could affect your academic career, so it is important to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this program if you can.
If a defendant is arrested with more than 30 grams of marijuana in their possession, this can result in more serious penalties like up to a year in prison and up to $5,000 in criminal fines. These penalties can be increased if you are charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana instead. This offense carries up to five years in prison if convicted.
Possession of Prescription Drugs
If you are found in possession of prescription drugs that have not been prescribed to you by a doctor, this is a criminal offense. Many prescription drug criminal cases involved the possession of highly addictive painkillers. For example, if you were arrested with a bottle of morphine, this is a serious offense that can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor. In Pennsylvania, first degree misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail.
It is also important to note that penalties for a drug possession conviction can be increased depending on the defendant’s criminal history. For example, a second offense of oxycodone possession can result in up to three years in prison if the defendant is convicted.
To learn more about the defenses for drug possession crimes, continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia drug possession lawyer.
Defenses for Drug Possession
There are multiple defenses that can be used to defend against a criminal case for drug possession. For example, if a defendant was arrested with drugs but was unaware that the drugs were in their possession, this can show a lack of intent to possess the drugs. This situation often comes up when there are multiple parties in a vehicle, and the true owner of the drugs does not want to confess to their actions.
Additionally, if law enforcement did not follow the law when it came to searching and seizing drugs that were in your possession, you can use this as a defense in your case. Evidence gathered by illegal search and seizures cannot be used to incriminate a defendant in most cases.
Another defense is to state that the amount of drugs in your possession is not enough to trigger the minimum possession standard for any drug laws. If you need assistance mounting a defense for your possession case, our firm is ready to work with you.
Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys You Can Trust
If you or a family member is facing a drug possession charge, you should contact an experienced Lehigh University defense attorney today. The criminal defense team at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates possess decades of combined legal experience, and we are prepared to use this experience to help you pursue a desirable outcome to your criminal case. To schedule a free consultation, contact Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 607-2715.