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Drug Possession

Philadelphia Drug Possession Attorney

You need a relentless advocate to take on Pennsylvania’s tough drug laws

Don’t be lulled into thinking that state and federal arrests and prosecution of drug possession laws has changed just because of news reports about some states legalizing marijuana. Drug possession laws in Pennsylvania are being aggressively enforced and prosecuted. The hard-working team of Philadelphia drug possession attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin take defending you against drug possession charges as seriously as the police and prosecutors who are trying to put you in prison.

Controlled substances that can lead to a drug possession arrest

It is easy to become ensnared in a drug possession charge in Pennsylvania. Possession of a controlled substance includes an assortment of drugs and substances including:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • MDMA (ecstasy)
  • LSD
  • Anabolic steroids

Having any number of prescription drugs that are designated as controlled substances can also lead to your arrest if you have them in your possession without a valid prescription from your doctor. Pennsylvania state law also makes possession of the component compounds that go into making controlled substances illegal.

Complex drug laws require a savvy Philadelphia drug defense attorney

Drug possession charges and penalties depend upon the type of substance you possess and the quantity. Charges can range from the lowest grade misdemeanor, all the way to a felony. What may begin as a drug possession investigation could turn into a more serious charge of possession with intent to deliver.

You could be charged with drug possession without having actual possession of the illegal substance. Under a legal principle known as “constructive possession,” if in a house, car or other location over which you have control, police can charge anyone at that location with possession if there are drugs found there.

Just because police do not find drugs on you during a search does not mean you will escape criminal charges. Pennsylvania defines drug paraphernalia as any device intended or used for ingesting or otherwise introducing drugs into the body. Bongs, pipes and rolling paper are just a few of the items that could provide grounds for your arrest.

Pennsylvania has harsh drug possession penalties

The particular facts of a case could affect the sentence a judge imposes at sentencing, but the following are representative sentences that are authorized under state law:

  • Marijuana: Possession of 30 grams or less is prosecuted as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and fines up to $500. Possession of more than 30 grams us punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
  • Heroin: Possession of up to five grams could result in a two-year prison sentence, and possession of 50 grams or more could lead to a five year sentence.
  • Cocaine: Possession of less than 10 grams carries with it a maximum one-year prison sentence, but the penalty increases to four years if you possess 100 grams or more.
  • Methamphetamine: Possessing less than 10 grams could send you to prison for three years. Possession of 100 grams or more of the substance could result in a five-year prison sentence.

We focus on innovative drug possession defense strategies

A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense team can exploit all defenses available to you when the government charges you with drug possession. Since many drug possession charges stem from traffic stops or searches and seizures, our aggressive Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys develop strong defense strategies to challenge whether police had probable cause for making the initial stop and for conducting searches for evidence.

When a case is based upon constructive possession, our knowledgeable criminal defense team will attack the issue of possession. This might include lack of knowledge on the part of the accused, or it could focus on someone else who might also have had control over the location. We do not stop until we have exploited every possible way to destroy the drug possession case the prosecution team has built against you.

Start fighting back today against drug possession charges by engaging a leading Philadelphia drug crime attorney

Drug possession charges do not go away by ignoring them. The Philadelphia drug possession defense attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin is ready to begin developing a strong defense strategy against your charges. Our goal is to win. Schedule an appointment today for a free initial consultation by calling us at (215) 486-0123, or by using the simple online contact form.

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Always Pursing the Best Possible Outcome
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  • Murder Case Not Guilty
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  • Drug Trafficking Not Guilty
  • Rape Not Guilty
  • Embezzlement Charges Dropped
  • DUI Not Guilty
  • Child Pornography Not Guilty
  • Governor’s pardon Pardon Granted
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Throughout the years, our firm and our individual attorneys have been recognized in both local and national media for our extensive legal knowledge, experience, and record of success. Our attorneys frequently appear in the media to provide insight and information on various legal matters, including high-profile cases.

Choosing the Right Firm Can Make All the Difference

  • Unrivaled Record of Success
    We have won tens of millions of dollars for injured victims, and have achieved countless "not guilty" verdicts for clients faced with criminal charges.
  • No Challenge too Big
    Our firm has handled some of the biggest cases in country, including representing the President of the United States.
  • Personalized Representation

    We understand that every case is unique. Therefore, we tailor our approach based on the facts of the case and the needs of our client. 

  • Uncompromising Passion
    Our competitive nature is one of our strongest qualities. You can be confident that no other firm will outwork our team.
  • Holistic Approach
    Not only do we want to excel legally for the client, but we also want to make sure we are strengthening their mind, body and spirt.
  • Supporting the Community
    Our team engages in many community events and regularly donates time and resources to many charitable organizations in Philadelphia.
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Home to Philadelphia’s most accomplished attorneys, van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin pairs diverse practice experience with a passion-driven, comprehensive law practice—all for the client’s benefit.