Philadelphia Drug Crime Lawyers
The possession of any unlawful drug for personal use is a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania. If the police
gather evidence supporting a claim that you intended to deliver the drugs, you could be prosecuted for a
felony. If convicted, you could face stiff penalties and possibly be sentenced to serve time in prison. Upon
release, you will have a criminal record potentially making it hard to obtain employment. Hire our
experienced Philadelphia drug crime lawyers to help reduce the charge asserted against you. The
attorney may help you obtain a plea bargain allowing you to participate in a pre-trial diversionary
program or help suppress evidence and reduce the prevalence of the prosecutor’s case.
Common drug possession crimes include the following:
1. Drug possession
2. Drug possession with the intent to deliver
3. Illegal drug paraphernalia possession
4. Prescription drug charges
Penalties for drug possession in Pennsylvania vary widely. The charge will depend on the type of drug
and how much was found on your person. For example, the possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana
may result in an ungraded misdemeanor. If convicted, you could spend up to 30 days in jail and pay a fine
up to $500. For other narcotic drugs, you could be sentenced to spend up to 15 years in prison and be
ordered to pay a fine up to $250,000.
Defenses to drug possession charges include the following:
Lack of intent
Lack of knowledge
Unlawful search and seizure
Lawful possession of prescribed drugs
Medical license to carry drugs
Section 17 Drug Diversion Program
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a city with a thriving nightlife and social scene. The city of Philadelphia also has several very esteemed colleges and universities. It is also a city with very nice areas as well as some not so nice areas. Drug crimes are very common in all of these environments as arrests for drug possession, drug sales, drug delivery and drug manufacturing occur on a daily basis throughout Philadelphia regardless of age, race, education or socio-economic status.
A drug crime arrest can result in felony or misdemeanor charges. Both of which are extremely serious and warrant the help of a skilled and experienced Philadelphia drug crime defense attorney.
Misdemeanor Drug Charges In Philadelphia
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has it’s own controlled substances act. For those facing misdemeanor drug charges such as simple possession you may be eligible for Pennsylvania’s drug diversion program, which is known as the Section 17 program. It is named after Section 17 of PA’s Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device and Cosmetic Act.
Pennsylvania’s Section 17 Disposition Program
Under Section 17 the accused can avoid a misdemeanor drug conviction provided they plead guilty to non-violent drug offense. They may also need to prove drug dependence or drug addiction. The accused will plead guilty and be placed on probation for a certain amount of time, which is not to exceed the maximum amount of time for that particular offense.
Who Is Eligible For Section 17 Disposition Program
You may qualify for the Section 17 program unless you:
1) Have previously been convicted of an offense under this act or similar act of the United States or any other state.
2) Have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in Pennsylvania or an equivalent crime under the laws of any other state.
3) Have been placed on Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) where the person was charged with a violation of this act or the commission of a misdemeanor or felony in this Commonwealth.
4) Have been charged with, or have plead guilty or nolo contendere to, multiple offenses which are based on separate conduct or arise from separate criminal episodes such that those offenses could be tried separately.
5) Have been designated as a dangerous juvenile offender.
What If You Don’t Complete All Conditions Of The Program
Just as with the ARD program, if for any reason you do not successfully complete all program obligations or violate any terms of probation, all bets are off. The court has the right to enter a judgment and proceed as they would with any criminal case.
What Happens Once The Section 17 Program is Completed?
Once the program is completed the courts will discharge you from the program and dismiss the charges against you. The Section 17 program is only a one-time deal and should you be arrested for a drug crime again you will face very severe legal consequences.
Let A Philadelphia Drug Crime Defense Attorney Help You
Having an experienced criminal defense in your corner during a situation as serious as this is a wise move as you have rights and they need to be protected. In addition, you stand a much better chance of getting granted entry into the program with the help of an attorney than you do on your own. The Pennsylvania legal system is very complex and one incorrect move when trying to represent yourself can end disastrously for you.
Contact our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys to discuss your case and how they can help you though this trying ordeal. As your attorneys they will get to know you personally as well as the details of your case. Armed with this information they will do their best to convey to the prosecution that you are a good person who may have suffered a lapse in judgment as that is often the case when drugs or alcohol are involved in an arrest.
Contact Philadelphia Drug Crime Defense Attorney Michael Benz for more information about obtaining a confidential consultation regarding your pending Pennsylvania drug possession charges. Dial (267) 777-7152 for a free consult.
- PWID (Possession with intent to deliver)
- Criminal Use of Communication Facility
- Small Amount of Marijuana
Let Our Philadelphia Drug Crime Lawyers Help
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a Pennsylvania violation of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, you need a qualified Pennsylvania Drug Lawyer to evaluate your case immediately. Many cases can be fought from the earliest stages by being prepared. Your preliminary hearing is the first opportunity to get a a look at the Commonwealth’s evidence against you and cross examine the police officers and witnesses against you. Many charges can be “thrown-out” at preliminary hearing if your Defense Lawyer can effectively challenge the Commonwealth’s witnesses through cross examination. Michael Benz is a skilled cross-examiner, and in fact, teaches those cross examination skills to up-and-coming trial lawyers as a coach of Kline School of Law at Drexel’s award winning mock trial team. If your liberty is on the line you need a Philadelphia Drug Crime Lawyer ready to take on the Commonwealth on your behalf!
Contact Philadelphia Drug Possession Lawyer Michael Benz, at Benz Law, LLC today for a free consultation on your Philadelphia Drug Case – 267-777-7152.