Understanding Ramifications of Drug Charges
If you or someone you know was arrested for a drug crime, it is important to gain a clear understanding of your legal rights and options at this point. As a former deputy sheriff and experienced criminal defense attorney, I can offer you valuable insight into the matter. I am intimately familiar with both sides of the legal system. I know how law enforcement works and have experience working with prosecuting attorneys. Combined with my criminal defense experience, this gives me an edge in any drug charges case I take on. I know what to expect and can provide more effective defense counsel as a result.
Information on Drug Crimes
Drug crimes involve a particular set of offenses related to controlled substances. This includes illegal street drugs (heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, etc.) as well as prescription drugs (Xanax, Vicodin, Oxycontin, etc.) as both are regulated by the government. A person may face charges of varying severities depending on the type of drug and the nature of the offense, such as possession versus trafficking.
The penalties will range broadly as well, depending on the offense itself as well as the jurisdiction and the defendant's criminal record, if any. Because this is an often complex topic, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the different types of drug charges and how they may impact you as an arrestee, defendant or suspect.
On this site, you will find helpful information about my different areas of practice in regard to drug crimes in particular. You can find out more about these charges, the penalties that may be imposed and how my firm can help you through this difficult time.
In order to receive an actual sentencing for drug possession, it must be proven that there was an intent to possess the drugs, knowing full well that it was illegal. This can be tricky to do and often a qualified lawyer can help with these kinds of cases in getting positive results for the accused.
Possession for Sale
Although the actual possession of illegal substances is a crime within itself, the action of selling these drugs means additional charges. Law enforcement do not take these charges lightly and judges will often pursue stern action in penalizing anyone related to drug charges.
Depending on the amount of equipment and evidential material that is surrounding the case, it could mean imprisonment, heavy fines and probation for anyone involved. The criminal justice system is currently focusing on cracking down on drug crimes and will not handle any case flippantly.
The drug that is being produced will often determine the severity of the penalties involved. Often manufacturing charges are joined by distribution charges which can result in aggressive actions when handing out a sentence. It is vital that if you are facing manufacturing charges that you obtain a qualified lawyer immediately.
Distributing drugs across borders into other countries is another crime entirely, but can also be coupled with manufacturing, distributing and selling charges. When death or injury is involved in any form of drug transportation it can result in higher penalties.
It does not matter what kind of drug is being moved within state borders or moved internationally, it is an illegal action that is treated with severity. Quick action is required on the part of the defendant if they want to achieve release from their accusations, as the judicial system is strongly enforcing drug laws.
Those who grow and produce the plants to make these illegal substances can be charged with cultivation. There must be an intent to grow and sell these products and can merge into manufacturing, distributing and selling charges often times.
Individuals who are using, are in possession of, or are distributing prescription drugs without a lawful prescription can be charged with prescription fraud. This involves a certain level of forgery and deception on behalf the individual accused. It can result in imprisonment and fines, but it depends upon exact substance that was being abused.
Any drug crimes related to heroin are considered federal offenses and if the individual is guilty of trafficking the drug, they can be taken to federal court. The penalties vary depending on the amount of heroin being sold, distributed or used.
While most people discount marijuana charges as minor and "not that bad," possessing anywhere from 10-50 pounds of it could result in up to 3 years in prison. If the individual has any previous drug criminal charges, it could result in even greater penalties.
If you are in possession of even just 2 grams of cocaine, it could result in $5,000 in fines and at least one year in prison. The state of Pennsylvania does not tolerate any form of drug possession and trafficking. Obtain a lawyer immediately if charged with cocaine related crimes.
The severity of penalties related to ecstasy is higher than most drugs. The highest penalty an individual can receive is up to $250,000 in fines and 15 years in state prison. This could completely hinder the freedom and livelihood of anyone convicted and it is critical to speak with an experienced attorney right away.
Penalties related to crystal meth can result in up to $50,000 in fines and 5 years in a state prison. If there were any previous crimes related to crystal meth on the individual's record who is charged, it could mean much serious consequences.
While penalties vary depending on the actual prescription drug being used in an illegal manner, it is certain the government in Pennsylvania does not take drug crimes lightly. Obtaining prescription drugs without proper legal authority is considered a common crime associated with this type of drug.
Search and Seizure Violations
Often times the law officer who performed a search and seizure on an individual's possessions broke basic laws that violate certain property rights. If these illegal search procedures resulted in being charged with drug crimes, it is possible that an attorney can help clear the accusations.
Preparing a Defense
I welcome you to contact my law offices at your earliest convenience for a confidential review of your drug crime case. You will find that I will offer you honest, practical advice that sets you on the right path. I also welcome you to look through the information I have included on this website. Accurate, applicable information can empower you to make the right choices about your case and therefore have a positive influence on its outcome.
Your choice in who you hire as a lawyer has the potential to have a considerable impact on the final result of your case. Make sure you choose an attorney who will not give up, no matter the circumstances or nature of your charges.