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Cocaine and Meth Crimes on the Rise in Pennsylvania

April 30, 2019

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

According to ABC News, certain areas of Pennsylvania have seen increased incidents of meth and cocaine abuse. These areas are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Johnstown. The uptick of drug abuse is interesting, particularly in these areas. These locations are known as hot spots, areas officials watch for potential trends throughout the state.

The use of meth is especially concerning, as it’s often mixed with fentanyl, the opioid that has largely contributed to the opioid epidemic around the country. Those that use meth are at risk for ingesting fentanyl, as well as repercussions by local law enforcement if they are caught with meth. Those charged with meth or cocaine crimes need to know the potential penalties they face, as well as who to call for help.

Meth Crimes in Pennsylvania

The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act of Pennsylvania lists methamphetamine as a Schedule II drug, the same classification the federal government assigns this drug. Title 35 Section 780-113 of the Pennsylvania Statutes outlines the penalties for anyone caught with even a small amount of meth, and they are steep.

A first-time conviction for meth possession can result in fines up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail. Those convicted will also have their driver’s license suspended for at least six months, and possibly more depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime. Repeat offenses can result in up to $25,000 in fines and three years in jail.

The penalties for simple meth possession are severe, even for a first offense. However, those convicted of possession with intent to deliver can face three to five years in prison, depending on the amount of meth intended for delivery. These sentences also increase with subsequent convictions.

Cocaine Crimes in Pennsylvania

Even though cocaine use is declining nationwide, it’s one of the main reasons those in Philadelphia enter drug treatment programs. Those convicted of cocaine possession also face serious fines and lengthy jail terms. Like meth, these penalties apply even when the amount a person carries is very small.

Cocaine is listed in the same Pennsylvania legal statute as meth. This statute outlines penalties for a first cocaine possession conviction as up to $5,000 in fines and up to a year in prison. A second offense could result in penalties of up to two years in jail, with a third offense carrying a possible jail sentence of up to three years.

Individuals face charges for both cocaine and meth crimes even if the drug isn’t actually found on their body. If the drugs are found near a person, such as in their home or vehicle, they may still face serious charges.

Contact the Pennsylvania Drug Lawyers To Help You Beat the Charges

Pennsylvania takes meth and cocaine crimes very seriously. As the situation grows worse across the state, prosecutors are likely to argue for harsher penalties to deter others from committing these crimes. Not everyone charged is guilty though, and a Pennsylvania drug possession lawyer can help those charged prove their innocence.

If you have been charged with a meth crime, cocaine crime, or any other drug crime, contact van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim at (215) 486-0123 or fill out our online form so we can get in touch with you. We will review your case and help you build a solid defense so you can retain your freedom. Call us today so we can begin discussing your case.



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