When You Are Charged With Drug Possession
West Chester’s location near major metropolitan areas makes it ideal for drug trafficking. Local law enforcement goes to great lengths to investigate, apprehend and charge those who possess even relatively small amounts of illegal drugs.
A conviction for drug possession can take a toll on your future. Don’t risk a criminal record if you believe you’re innocent. Talk to a Pennsylvania criminal lawyer at Bellwoar Kelly, LLP and call 610-314-7066.
Understanding Potential Consequences
Drug possession charges are brought against a wide variety of people in many situations, from college parties to traffic stops. Sometimes charges are brought as the police investigate an unrelated offense, like a burned-out taillight. In others situations, police are specifically looking for drugs.
Potential penalties vary based upon a variety of factors, including drug type and aggravating circumstances. Broadly speaking, though, here are some common drug possession penalties:
- Marijuana: Possessing less than 30 grams is a misdemeanor, even if it’s for personal use. Penalties include up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500. Penalties for possessing more include one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Other controlled substances: Penalties are more severe for possessing small amounts of drugs like LSD, MDMA, heroin and prescription medications. For a first offense, a person faces a year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. A second offense could lead to two years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. Fines may double when a person is arrested on suspicion of possessing higher qualities. For instance, there’s a mandatory minimum jail time of five years for possessing more than five grams of cocaine.
These charges also carry a mandatory driver’s license suspension of six months.
Criminal Defense After A Drug Possession Charge
A foundational value of our firm is that everyone deserves an effective defense, no matter the charge. This is why we use our prosecution experience to give our clients a distinct advantage.
The first step of an effective defense strategy involves gathering all the relevant information. Details of your arrest could prove invaluable to your defense. For example, we will examine any interactions with police officers. If the police didn’t follow proper procedures, your charges may be dismissed. When evidence is improperly acquired, it can’t be used to convict you.