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What are the penalties for drug crimes in Pennsylvania?  

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2022 | Criminal defense

Getting accused of criminal wrongdoing is frightening. Whether an honest mistake or the result of a lapse in judgement, those who find themselves facing criminal charges likely have many questions about what will happen next. The answer varies depending on a number of factors, including the state and the details of the allegations.

In a recent example that helps to show how these cases can unfold, police went to a woman’s home for an interview after they intercepted a package, they thought contained illegal drugs. During the interview, the police stated they saw narcotics and other drug paraphernalia within the home. The police used this information to get a warrant. Once they had the warrant, they searched her home.

During the search, they discovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cocaine and marijuana.

After gathering this and additional evidence, the police arrested the woman. She now faces criminal charges including possession and intent to deliver. If convicted, penalties for these types of charges can include hefty financial penalties and potential prison time. Similar crimes and their penalties in Pennsylvania are shown below:

  • Possession of Marijuana. Less than 30 grams can come with a misdemeanor, 30 days in jail and a fine of $500. More than 30 grams and the penalties go up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
  • Possession of other controlled substances. This can include heroin, cocaine, LSD, and meth as well as certain prescription medications like Vicodin or Oxycontin. A first offense can come with one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. A second offense with two years in prison and a third with three years in prison.
  • Selling marijuana. Those accused of selling marijuana can face a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. If the sale was to a minor, the penalty goes up to 2 years in jail and a $5,000.

It is important to note that various factors can impact the penalties. If these charges are part of additional allegations of wronging, the penalties can increase. If a first offense, the penalties can be less. If, for example, the accused is facing a first-time marijuana offense it is possible in some situations to get probation without a verdict.

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