When you are arrested for a drug crime, the stakes are extremely high and not retaining experienced legal counsel could be disastrous for your future. While the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution gives everyone the right to represent themselves during a criminal trial, to do so successfully requires extensive knowledge of court rules and criminal law, which is why you should hire a knowledgeable and experienced law firm to represent you from the start.
After an arrest, your drug offense lawyer will:
- Perform an intense investigation during pre-trial
- Provide legal counsel
- Get charges dropped if there is insufficient evidence
- Persuade the courts to reduce or waive bail
- Plan and execute a defense strategy
- Offer solid representation during plea negotiations
- Petition the court for a lesser sentence
- Litigate in court during a criminal trial
- File any court petitions and/or appeals
Drug Offenses Are Prosecuted Aggressively
A common misconception is that first time drug offenses are not serious,and therefore treated lightly by the courts. Yet, nothing could be farther from the truth. From possession to trafficking, drug crimes are prosecuted aggressively in the state of Pennsylvania. If convicted, you could be sentenced to years in prison and required to pay hefty fines. Hiring an attorney with an extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania drug laws will ensure that your rights are defended as your case progresses.
How Serious are Drug Possession Penalties?
In Pennsylvania, drug possession is one of the most common drug-related offenses in the state. If you are arrested and charged with drug possession, you face grave penalties and consequences. The severity of your penalties will be determined by four main factors:
- Type of controlled substance in your possession
- Amount of controlled substance in your possession
- Past convictions
- Simple possesion verses an intent to sell
For example: marijuana is a Schedule I substance in Pennsylvania. Simple possession of no more than 30 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor and punishable by 30 days in jail. In comparison, possession of cocaine with intent to sell is a felony offense and punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Defenses Your Attorney May Use
There are numerous defenses your drug offense lawyer may use to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether.
- Lack of Intent – Your attorney may be able to show that you did not intend to possess a controlled substance or didn’t know what the substance was.
- Small Quantity of Drugs – Your attorney may be able to argue that the amount in your possession was negligible and not covered by current Pennsylvania drug laws.
- Legally Allowed to Possess Drugs – in Pennsylvania, you cannot be charged with drug possession if you have a valid prescription.
- Entrapment – Your attorney may be able to get charges dropped if police used entrapment to arrest you.
- Illegal Search and Seizure – if the evidence used against you was obtained through unlawful search and seizure, then your attorney may be able to have the evidence removed.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Drug Offense Lawyers Today
If you have been arrested for a drug offense in Delaware County, Chester County or anywhere else in the state of Pennsylvania, do not speak to prosecutors or arresting officers without an attorney present. Your future depends on mounting a swift and aggressive defense from the very start. Don’t go it alone. We are here to help. Contact the Law Offices of Steven F. O’Meara at (610) 565-9200 to schedule a free consultation.