Have you been charged with possession of crystal meth or any other methamphetamine-related drug offenses? If so, your freedom may be in jeopardy as you may face severe penalties if convicted. As a Schedule I controlled substance, methamphetamine possession is punishable by harsh sentences and penalties under both state and federal law.
Although it has existed for years, methamphetamine is growing in popularity throughout Pennsylvania. In fact, 56 meth laboratories were discovered by state and federal law enforcement agencies in 2011 alone, serving as a clear indication that the drug is becoming a growing problem.
According to the Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the PA Criminal Intelligence Center, 12 million people across America have tried methamphetamines, and 1.5 million Americans regularly use the drug. The rising problem of methamphetamine use is largely due to the low cost of manufacturing the powerful drug, resulting in a relatively inexpensive high.
However, lawmakers across the country have enacted new legislation and more severe penalties for methamphetamine possession and related charges. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies on both the state and federal level, including state and district attorney’s offices, have made methamphetamine cases a top priority.
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Even if it is your first offense and you were arrested for possessing a small amount of meth for personal use, a possession of methamphetamine conviction can result in jail time. In fact, a first-time offender charged with possessing less than five grams of methamphetamine may face up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. If a person has been convicted of a previous offense, they may be sentenced to two years in jail. Similarly, a third offense may result in a three-year sentence.
Due to the seriousness of a methamphetamine conviction, it is imperative that you contact an experienced and highly-skilled Philadelphia methamphetamine criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In cases like these, the best defense is a strong offense. You need an effective, determined, and strong defense team on your side working in your best interests every step of the way.
Possession vs. Possession with Intent to Distribute
When going up against meth charges, it is critical for defendants to understand the differences between a possession of meth charge and the more serious charge of possession with intent to distribute meth. Although a conviction of possession of methamphetamine in Pennsylvania may result in substantial jail time, fines, and a lengthy probation period, it is still a misdemeanor.
Possession with the intent to distribute meth, on the other hand, is a felony in the state of Pennsylvania. As such, a conviction can result in significant fines and prison sentences, the length or amount of which are dependent on the amount of meth seized and various circumstances surrounding the case.
Without effective legal representation, individuals charged with possession of meth with the intent to deliver in Pennsylvania can end up behind bars for a significant period of time and forever be labeled a felon. However, there are many different factors to consider during an arrest, and the proper recognition and timely exploitation of these factors can make all the difference in the world when it comes to determining a defendant’s innocence or guilt.
Our experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys have unsurpassed experience representing clients facing serious meth charges throughout Pennsylvania. As our track record clearly shows, we have the experience and expertise to excel in this demanding and complex area of law.