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, O’Neill, 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:
- MDMA (ecstasy)
- 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, O’Neill, 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) 515-6892, or by using the simple online contact form.