Controlled Substance Offenses in Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys at our firm have decades of experience helping people charged with controlled substance offenses. Our diligent attorneys have defended a multitude of cases involving nearly every kind of misdemeanor and felony drug offense in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. Not only does our esteemed firm enjoy an unparalleled record of achieving not guilty verdicts for our clients, but we have also witnessed tremendous success in securing alternative sentencing, such as diversion programs, for many of our clients as well.
Our Philadelphia criminal defense firm has a long history of achieving not guilty verdicts and reduced sentencing for clients facing charges under the Controlled Substance Act in both Pennsylvania and federal courts. The Controlled Substance Act, which is a compilation of laws established to regulate the manufacturing, distribution, and possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances, breaks down controlled substances into five categories, with Schedule I offenses being the most serious. Some examples of controlled substances classified as Schedule I drugs are:
Penalties for manufacturing, distributing, or possessing Schedule I narcotics are quite severe. Depending on the amount of drugs seized by law enforcement, a first-time offender may face up to 20 years in prison plus sizable fines. An individual with two prior offenses may even face a life sentence.
Although marijuana laws differ slightly from laws pertaining to other controlled substances, depending on the quantity, marijuana penalties can be equally severe.
If you have been charged with a drug-related offense in Pennsylvania under the Controlled Substance Act, it is imperative that you are represented in court by an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney with the skills, knowledge, experience, and determination needed to successfully defend your case.
Penalties for Controlled Substance Convictions
Schedule I and Schedule II Drugs – Individuals committing their first offense face a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $1 million fine. An organization may be subject to a maximum fine of $5 million. If charged with their second offense, defendants may face a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a $2 million fine.
Schedule III Drugs – Individuals committing their first offense face a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $500,000 fine. An organization may be subject to a maximum fine of $2.5 million. If charged with their second offense, defendants may face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a $1.5 million fine.
Schedule IV Drugs – Individuals committing their first offense face a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine. If charged with their second offense, defendants may face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $500,000 fine.
Schedule V Drugs – Individuals committing their first offense face a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $100,000 fine. If charged with their second offense, defendants may face a maximum prison sentence of four years and a $200,000 fine.
It is important to note that certain controlled substances carry different penalties. For a complete list of penalties for controlled substance offenses, http://www.justice.gov/dea/index.shtml is an excellent reference.
While the penalties for controlled substance offenses can be quite severe, our experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys may be able to have your case dismissed or the penalties reduced in the following ways:
The Dismissal of Evidence
If law enforcement carried out an illegal search of your property in search of evidence against you, it is not admissible in court.
If you have no previous convictions and no violence was involved during the commission of the crime or arrest, you may eligible for a diversionary program or other form of alternative sentencing. In a diversionary program, your case will be dismissed if you submit to regular urine tests and the results come up negative for narcotics over a specified period of time. Upon successful completion of the program, a conviction will not appear on your record. Drug court, which also results in the dismissal of charges, may also be an option.
Charges involving controlled substances are very serious and carry severe consequences that can have a lasting impact on your life. If you suspect you are being investigated by law enforcement for a drug-related crime or have been charged for such a crime, you need to seek the advice of experienced legal counsel.
Our Philadelphia drug offense attorneys have defended clients facing all manner of drug charges involving cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and nearly every type of controlled substance.
For additional information on controlled substance charges or to schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact our skilled and experienced defense team today.