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Possible consequences of Pennsylvania drug crimes

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Drug crimes in Pennsylvania encompass a range of offenses. Each type of conviction carries distinct penalties based on factors like substance type and weight.

An understanding of state drug laws can guide your response if you face the legal consequences of related activities.

Possession of controlled substances

You can receive possession charges for having street drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine. Prescription medication without a valid prescription also counts as a controlled substance.

You do not necessarily need to have the drug on your person for possession charges. It could also be in your home or vehicle.

Minor amounts of the substance may result in misdemeanor charges, which often carry fines or probation. For large drug quantities, you could receive a felony conviction. Penalties may include substantial fines and extended prison time.

Drug trafficking

This charge involves the distribution, sale or transportation of illicit substances. Felony charges are typical for trafficking offenses. Repeat offenses often lead to more severe consequences.

Drug manufacturing

The production or cultivation of controlled substances is a serious crime in Pennsylvania. Examples include cultivating marijuana or producing illegal narcotics.

Penalties for drug manufacturing offenses are severe. Conviction can result in felony charges with lengthy prison sentences and significant fines.

Possession with intent to distribute

Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute is a distinct offense from simple possession. It carries more severe penalties because of the potential for distribution. Felony charges are common with this type of conviction.

Prescription drug fraud

This category includes misuse of prescription drugs or engaging in fraudulent activities to obtain these medications is a criminal offense. Penalties for fraud may include fines, probation and, in severe cases, imprisonment.

Pennsylvania’s legal system takes a stringent approach to drug crimes in response to the public health epidemic of addiction. The attorney general reports that the state averages 14 daily opioid overdose deaths.  If you struggle with substance use disorder, you can potentially qualify for diversionary treatment when facing drug charges.