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Drug Crimes and Offenses

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Drug crimes can be graded as low as a misdemeanor or as high as a felony. Whether you are charged with simple possession or possession with intent to deliver (PWID), it is crucial to have a qualified criminal defense lawyer involved as early in the process as possible to have the best chance of beating the drug charge.  If you have been charged with a drug offense in the greater Pittsburgh area, contact Criminal Defense Attorney William R. Bickerton for a consultation.

About medical marijuana

If you have a medical marijuana card under Pennsylvania law, you still need to be certain that you are following the regulations to the letter. It is still possible to be charged with a drug offense even if you have a valid MMJ card. Be sure to check the state Department of Health’s medical marijuana web site regularly to stay on top of news and developments in medical cannabis in PA.

Bickerton Law is conveniently located 15 minutes from Downtown in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania Drug Crimes

•     Possession With Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance (PWID)

Possession With Intent to Deliver is the charge police officers use when they suspect that you intend to sell drugs.  Delivery is the charge used when the police believe you have completed the sale.

•     Possession of a Controlled Substance

In Pennsylvania, a controlled substance includes illegal drugs as well as drugs that must be dispensed with a prescription.  Therefore, you can be charged with possession of a controlled substance if you have a prescription drug without a valid prescription.

•     Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana

A small amount of marijuana is considered to be 30 grams of regular marijuana or 8 grams of hashish.

•     Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Any item that can be used in the use or sale of drugs can be considered drug paraphernalia.  This includes needles, syringes, crack pipes, steel wool, wrapping papers, digital scales, etc.

•     Possession with Intent to Deliver Drug Paraphernalia

A defendant can be charged with this offense if the police believe that they possessed drug paraphernalia and intended to give or sell it to someone else knowing that the recipient would use the paraphernalia for a drug-related purpose.

•     Possession With Intent to Deliver a Counterfeit Controlled Substance

The police will charge a defendant with possession with intent to deliver a counterfeit controlled substance if he has a substance that is not really a drug, but attempts to pass the substance off as one.

•     Acquisition of a Controlled Substance by Misrepresentation, Fraud, or Subterfuge

Drug Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentences

In Pennsylvania’s mandatory sentencing, your minimum sentence may be enhanced if you have previously been convicted of any drug trafficking offense.  Therefore, if you’ve ever been convicted of possession with intent to deliver or delivery, you will automatically be sentenced under the “Second Offense” regardless of the weight of the drugs in your first offense.

If the state is trying to give you a mandatory minimum sentence based upon the weight of the drugs, contact an experienced drug defense lawyer for a consultation as soon as possible.