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How Long Do You Go To Jail For Drug Possession in PA?

The penalties for possessing drugs in Pennsylvania will depend on whether you are charged with simple possession or possession with the intent to deliver. The types of substances and your criminal record can also impact the sentence you might receive. Pennsylvania’s drug crimes penalties are among the most severe in the U.S. and often include lengthy prison sentences.

In addition to the types of controlled substances, their amounts, and your criminal record, the presence of certain aggravating factors can also increase the length of any sentence you might receive. Selling drugs to a minor or in a school zone can greatly increase your sentence. You could also face a longer prison sentence if you possessed drugs while in possession of a firearm. If you are facing any type of drug possession charge, you should reach out to DiCindio Law for help.

Simple possession of marijuana, hashish, and marijuana concentrates

While Pennsylvania has a medical marijuana law, people who do not have valid medical licenses can still face charges for possessing small amounts of marijuana, hashish, or marijuana concentrates. If you are convicted of possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana or eight grams or less of hashish or marijuana concentrates, a conviction is a misdemeanor carrying up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. If you possess more than 30 grams but less than two pounds, it carries up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. If you are convicted of marijuana possession as a second offense, the penalties can be doubled.

Simple possession of methamphetamine

If you are convicted of possessing less than two grams of methamphetamines as a first offense, you will face a sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $5,000. If you are convicted for a second or third time, your prison sentence could be from two to three years with a larger fine.

Simple possession of heroin

If you are convicted of simple possession of heroin as a first offense, you will face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If you are convicted as a second or third offense, your prison sentence can be up to two or three years.

Simple possession of cocaine

If you are convicted of simple possession of cocaine as a first offense, you will face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. A second conviction will carry a prison sentence of up to two years, and a third conviction will carry a prison sentence of up to three years.

Possession with intent to deliver

Depending on the facts of your case, you could be charged with possession of drugs with the intent to deliver them. In most cases, possession with intent to deliver charge will be a felony carrying serious charges. You can be charged with this offense if you had more than the threshold amount of drugs in your possession even if you did not actually sell them. The penalties for possession with intent to deliver will depend on the weight of drugs in your possession and their type. It will also depend on whether it is your first, second, or subsequent conviction. Prison sentences for possession with the intent to deliver can be substantial, and you could also potentially face federal charges.

PWID of Schedule I and II drugs

If you are convicted of trafficking between two and 10 grams of Schedule I or II drugs, you will face the following penalties for a first offense:

  • Felony
  • Lengthy Prison Exposure
  • Fine of up to $5,000

If you are convicted of trafficking between 10 to 100 grams of narcotics as a first offense, you will face a sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. For a second or subsequent conviction, you will face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.

If you are convicted of trafficking 100 or more grams of narcotics as a first offense, you will face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. For a second offense, you will face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Possession of drug paraphernalia

In addition to drug possession, you can also face charges if you are caught possessing drug paraphernalia. If you are convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia, it is a misdemeanor carrying up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

In addition to the criminal penalties you could face, other penalties for drug convictions could include a suspension of your driver’s license and losing your right to own or possess a firearm. You could also encounter difficulties in other areas of your life, including your career, insurance costs, custody matters, and trouble being approved for housing.

Talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer

Facing drug charges can be a scary experience. However, a drug defense lawyer can help to build a strong defense strategy to fight these types of charges. Your attorney will carefully review the evidence and charges in your case to identify the types of defenses that you might have available

to you. Michael DiCindio is a former prosecutor and highly skilled defense lawyer who understands how to defend against drug charges. Call DiCindio Law today at (610) 430-3535.

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