In West Chester, Chester County, and all of Pennsylvania, drug possession cases are of the most common criminal matters that are seen on the dockets of the courts. Being accused of a drug possession crime can have a damaging impact on one’s liberty, reputation and finances – but also collateral consequences like an impact on one’s driving privileges.
In Pennsylvania, there are numerous types of drug crimes that can be brought against an accused individual. Someone can be held criminally liable for possession of illegal narcotics, unprescribed controlled substances, or even the paraphernalia that an individual may use to ingest or store any of these drugs.
One of the most common drug possession crimes that is seen in West Chester, Chester County or the surrounding counties, is possession of a small amount of marijuana. While to many this may seem like a minor charge, it is anything but. It holds a maximum of 30 days imprisonment but also carries with it a drivers license suspension. Often times there are diversionary programs that are available for an individual charged with this offense and at times negotiations by a skilled West Chester criminal defense lawyer may result in a plea to a lower charge completely – but neither of these outcomes are guaranteed. Hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer will put a person accused of possessing a small amount of marijuana in the best position to avoid the consequences that may accompany the charge.
A step up from a small about of marijuana charge is a Possession of a Controlled Substance charge. This occurs when someone is found to be in possession of a an amount of marijuana that rises above the level of “small amount”, or when someone is caught with another illegal drug or controlled substance that they do not possess a prescription for or are licensed to possess. This drug crime charges can carry with it harsh fines, prison time, and a drivers license suspension. Further, if someone is found to have been previously convicted of a drug possession offense, the maximum sentence that is possible becomes greater due to the prior conviction.
Another common drug crime in West Chester, Chester County and the surrounding areas in Pennsylvania is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia can be the packaging that is used to hold a drug, the implement or tool that is used or aids in ingesting the drug, or anything else that may relate to the possession, measuring, ingesting, holding, or more, of a drug or controlled substance.
Often times, drug crimes are attacked by a skilled criminal defense lawyer before trial ever becomes a possibility. This is typically through a pre-trial suppression motion where the criminal defense lawyer challenges the search or stop of an individual charged with a drug possession crime, alleging a constitutional violation. If this is successful – the result is suppression of the evidence found as a result of the illegal search or seizure. But this is not all that can be challenged. At trial, the legal definition of “possession” can be broad. Possession may be legally found not only when someone is holding something, but also when they are found to have the intent to exert dominion and control over something, and intend to, or do so. this means that a skilled criminal defense lawyer must diligently examine each fact and circumstance of a case and be ready to argue against legal possession, if appropriate or able.
This is just a simple broad overview of the law and issues surrounding a drug possession crime in West Chester, Chester County, the surrounding counties and all of Pennsylvania.
If you or a loved one has been charge with a drug possession crime, do not hesitate, and contact West Chester Criminal Defense lawyer Mike DiCindio directly today for your free consultation to talk about your case.
Drug Offenses In Detail
The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please contact DiCindio Law for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case.
Mike DiCindio is a criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale as well as in Montgomery County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, Bucks County and Berks County.