Were you recently arrested for a drug crime in West Chester, PA? A drug crime conviction can have serious and far-reaching consequences. Call an experienced West Chester drug crimes lawyer at DiCindio Law, LLC, we’re available 24/7 to take your call at (610) 430-3535.
Our lawyers have years of experience fighting for clients like you. We would be proud to stand up and protect your legal rights and help you fight to prevent steep penalties, serious jail time, and a lasting criminal record.
It’s never too early to seek legal advice if you’ve been charged with a crime. Contact our law offices in West Chester, PA to schedule a free consultation today.
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How DiCindio Law, LLC Can Help if I’m Being Arrested for a Drug Crime in West Chester, PA?
Our experienced West Chester criminal defense attorneys are committed to providing every client with the most aggressive legal defense possible. We’ve helped countless clients minimize the impact of criminal charges and move on with their lives.
As a former prosecutor, our founding attorney has valuable insight about how drug cases are prosecuted in Pennsylvania.
We’ll use that experience to your advantage. We’ve also been recognized by Super Lawyers and have received a perfect 10 AVVO-rating for superior criminal defense work.
Hiring DiCindio Law, LLC means you’ll have an advocate to:
- Conduct an independent investigation into your case
- Review all of the prosecution’s evidence
- Stand by your side every step of the way
- Explain your legal rights and options
- Work behind the scenes and negotiate with prosecutors to have your case dismissed
- Negotiate a favorable plea bargain if advisable in your case
Most drug cases settle out of court through the plea bargaining process. That doesn’t mean accepting a plea is always the right move. Our experienced Chester County criminal lawyers aren’t afraid to stand up for your rights at trial if necessary.
Are you ready to learn more about how an experienced defense lawyer can make a difference in your case? Call for your free consultation today.
Overview of Drug Crimes in Pennsylvania
The severity of a drug crime in Pennsylvania typically depends upon a few key factors:
- The type of drug involved
- The amount or weight of the drugs
- Whether you had any intent to distribute the drugs
- Whether you have any prior drug convictions on your record
Drugs in Pennsylvania are classified according to a schedule, as follows:
- Schedule I drugs. Schedule I drugs include heroin, ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, marijuana, and other drugs with no acceptable medical use and a high potential for abuse.
- Schedule II drugs. Cocaine, methamphetamines (crystal meth), and oxycodone are all examples of Schedule II drugs. These drugs may have a limited medical use, but they also carry a high potential for abuse and physical dependency.
- Schedule III drugs. Schedule III drugs carry a moderate to low potential for abuse. Vicodin, anabolic steroids, and Tylenol with codeine are some examples.
- Schedule IV drugs. Xanax, Valium, Ambien, and other drugs with a high therapeutic value and low potential for abuse are classified as Schedule IV drugs.
- Schedule V drugs. Cough medicines with codeine, Lomotil, Motofen, and other drugs with a low potential for abuse are included as Schedule V drugs.
Drug crimes involving Schedule I drugs are the most serious; they’re much more likely to be abused and carry harmful side effects.
We Handle All Types of Drug Crimes Cases in West Chester, PA
At DiCindio Law, LLC, we handle all types of drug crimes cases in West Chester and across Chester County, including those involving:
- Simple possession of marijuana
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Drug trafficking
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Trafficking in marijuana
- Drug distribution
- Drug manufacturing
- Possession with intent to deliver
- Juvenile drug crimes
It’s important to remember that you can still be arrested for marijuana possession in the state of Pennsylvania. Unless you have a medical marijuana card, it’s illegal to possess or purchase marijuana. While some cities have started to “decriminalize” marijuana possession, that isn’t the same as legalization.
Were you or a loved one charged with a drug crime in West Chester, PA? Our legal team can fight to minimize the consequences. Just call our law firm to schedule a free case review with an experienced West Chester drug crimes attorney today.
Felony Drug Charges
Most drug charges involve violations of Pennsylvania state law. Drug offenses are also punishable under the federal Controlled Substances Act. If you’re facing federal charges, it’s important to consult a skilled drug defense lawyer as soon as possible.
What are the Penalties for Drug Crimes in Chester County, Pennsylvania?
The penalties for a drug crime conviction can vary widely. Drug crimes can be graded as felonies or misdemeanors under Pennsylvania state law.
Regardless of the charge, your penalty could include:
- Jail time
- A prison sentence
- Financial penalties
- A criminal record
- Court-ordered substance abuse treatment
The precise penalty depends on the exact drug charge involved. For example, possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use is considered an ungraded misdemeanor.
If you’re found with 30 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of hashish (or less), your penalty may include:
- Up to 30 days in jail
- A $500 penalty
- Driver’s license suspension
- A criminal record
However, if the courts find that you intended to distribute even a small amount of marijuana, you could face harsher criminal penalties. The court could charge you with possession with intent to distribute, for example, if the marijuana was wrapped into small individual packages.
If you’re charged with a crime, your penalty will depend on your sentencing guidelines. This is based upon your prior record score and the offense gravity score and where that places you on the Pennsylvania sentencing matrix.
That score depends on the following:
- The severity of the crime
- Whether you’re a first or subsequent offender, and
- The type and weight of the drug intended for possession.
For example, a first offender subject to misdemeanor drug possession charges could face up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. For a subsequent offense, the penalties can be increased to three years in jail and a $25,000 fine.
The law in Pennsylvania provides for the following penalties:
- Third-degree misdemeanor: one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines
- Second-degree misdemeanor: two years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines
- First-degree misdemeanor: five years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
- Third-degree felony: seven years in jail and up to $15,000 in fines
- Second-degree felony: ten years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines
Statutory mandatory minimum sentences can also influence the amount of jail time you might face if convicted.
Law enforcement in Pennsylvania takes drug charges extremely seriously. However, police and prosecutors don’t always get it right when it comes to drug charges.
An experienced drug crimes attorney in West Chester can advise you about your specific situation.
Mike DiCindio has years of experience handling drug cases like yours. We can work behind the scenes to negotiate reduced charges or dismissal before your case even goes to trial. In fact, we’ve successfully had cases thrown out entirely because the prosecution relied upon illegally obtained evidence.
Ready to learn more? Just call our law firm to schedule your free initial consultation today.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a Drug Crime?
Many clients make the mistake of thinking they don’t have options if they’ve been arrested and charged with a drug-related offense. In reality, any number of defense options may be available in your case. It’s your lawyer’s job to know which defenses will prove effective based on the specific facts of your case.
Potential defense strategies may include any of the following:
- You were the victim of an illegal search and seizure
- Police lacked probable cause for a traffic stop where drugs were found
- The substance in your possession wasn’t actually classified as a controlled dangerous substance
- You didn’t have actual or constructive control over the drugs
- You had a valid prescription for prescription medications
- You didn’t know that the drugs were present
- Lack of intent to distribute the drugs
- Violation of your Miranda rights
- Violation of your right to an attorney
Police and prosecutors have to follow the rules in order to secure a conviction. That means they have to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If they obtained any statements or evidence illegally in your case, we can file a motion to suppress and fight to have that evidence thrown out. That can make it much more difficult to convict.
If you were arrested or are facing drug charges, don’t wait to get the legal advice you deserve. Call DiCindio Law, LLC to learn more about how a former prosecutor can help fight your charges.
We offer a free case evaluation, so there’s no risk in getting help protecting your rights.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a West Chester Drug Crimes Lawyer
Were you or a loved one arrested on drug charges in West Chester? Call a West Chester drug crimes lawyer at DiCindio Law, LLC for a free initial consultation today.
We can help you explore all legal defenses and fight to have your charges reduced or your case dismissed. We serve clients in West Chester and across Chester County.