Sentencing guidelines provide Courts in Pennsylvania with the ability to have a standard range of sentences that are imposed for certain similarly situated offenders and crimes. One of the major aims of these guidelines is to have a level of consistency in sentencing. Each crime is assigned an offense gravity score which when combined with an offender’s prior record score on a sentencing grid provides the sentencing guidelines (all established by the legislature).
One common drug charge in Pennsylvania is distribution of marijuana. Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana is a crime that is common but has also become more complicated in recent years. In the past the only substance that was typically being sold or possessed was the actual marijuana / seeds or the plant alone. Recently, possessing oils and other forms of THC outside of the plant and seeds creates enhanced potential sentencing penalties – and is being seen more often. In a case where only marijuana is possessed and/or sold the sentencing guidelines may not be as high as they would be in the event that THC oil was possessed and/or sold. This is because the THC oil is not included in the definition of marijuana in the controlled substance act of Pennsylvania. Therefore, it would be treated as a general schedule I/II controlled substance which has a higher offense gravity score under PA law.
Despite the recent decriminalization talks throughout the country and the state it is important to remember that marijuana is illegal in Pennsylvania and possessing different forms of it may create complications or higher potential penalties.
“Marihuana” consists of all forms, species and/or varieties of the genus Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin; but shall not include tetrahydrocannabinols, the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination. (See, Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 780-102 § 780-102. Definitions
The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes to the law that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments or the most complete legal issues for all cases These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended solely for informational purposes.
Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer and personal injury attorney who represents individuals accused of crimes or injured by the negligence of others 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