Drug Trafficking Lawyer Pittsburgh | Ketchel Law - Criminal Defense

Drug Trafficking in Pennsylvania

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE CHARGED WITH DRUG TRAFFICKING IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Drug crimes are taken very seriously in Pennsylvania and the penalties, if convicted, can be very severe.

Drug trafficking is known as Possession with Intent to Distribute, or PWID, in Pennsylvania.

A drug trafficking conviction guarantees that you will serve jail time and pay hefty fines.

In addition, you face a lifelong impact of having a felony drug charge on your permanent criminal record. This may cause you to lose your current job, as well as make it impossible to obtain employment or housing in the future.

If convicted, your punishment will be determined by other variables such as: the type of drug you were trafficking, the amount of said drug(s) you had in your possession, and any prior criminal record.

Being arrested for a drug crime has the potential to make your life extremely difficult. Not only will you have the battle of fighting your charges, but if convicted, you risk the loss of your freedom and your future.

An experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh Drug Attorney will fight to get your drug trafficking charges reduced to a Simple Possession charge or a Not Guilty verdict.

If you face first time drug charges, call Justin Ketchel today for a free legal consultation at 412-456-1221. 

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

INFORMATION ON DRUG SENTENCING FOR A DRUG TRAFFICKING CONVICTION IN PA

Drug trafficking charges are usually a felony, even for a first offense.

In order to prove a drug trafficking charge, the prosecution will have to prove that you:

  • Grew, manufactured or obtained narcotics or a controlled substance, and;
  • Delivered, or intended to deliver, said narcotics or controlled substance to another.

To be found guilty of drug trafficking in Pennsylvania, you do not have to be caught in an actual sale of drugs to another person or group. Circumstantial evidence can be enough to prove trafficking.

This can include evidence such as:

  • Possession of a large quantity of drugs;
  • Possession of large amounts of cash;
  • Possession of items known in the packaging or distribution of drugs such as scales and bags.

Further, the law does not distinguish between simply giving the illegal drugs to another versus the actual sale of drugs in exchange for money or services. Whether they were given or sold, you can be charged for trafficking if you were charged with having a questionable amount of drugs and intended to distribute them to another person.

Drug trafficking generally involves possession and intent of distribution of a larger quantity of drugs than would be used by an individual. It can occur throughout Pennsylvania, across state lines, or from outside the United States.

If the drugs cross state lines, you are likely to face federal charges in addition to any PA charges. This requires a specialized attorney who is experienced in both state and federal court.

PENALTIES FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING IN PENNSYLVANIA

Drug charges are, in part, based on the type of substance(s) in possession, as well as the quantity of said substance. In Pennsylvania, drugs are arranged in a schedule that classifies them according to their addictive properties and/or medical use, if any.

Sentencing is often in accordance with the schedule:

  • Schedule I drugs are most likely to cause dependence and have no real known medical use; heroin, marijuana, LSD, PCP;
  • Schedule II drugs are those that have highly addictive qualities but may have some medical use; morphine, cocaine, oxycontin, Percocet, fentanyl, methamphetamine;
  • Schedule III drugs have less addictive qualities than those drugs in schedule I and II with some generally accepted medical use; anabolic steroids;
  • Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse, known medical use, but require a prescription from a licensed physician; Xanax, Valium;
  • Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse, known medical use, but require a prescription from a licensed physician; cough syrup with codeine.

Drug Type: Schedule I or II (Narcotics)

These drugs include marijuanacocaineheroinecstasyPCP, amphetamines, meth and MDMA.

Penalties for Schedule I or II Drugs with Intent to Deliver in Pennsylvania:

  • Trafficking two to ten grams of narcotics

Two years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000 for a first offense.
Three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 for subsequent offenses.

  • Trafficking ten to 100 grams of narcotics

Three years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000 for a first offense.
Five years in prison and a maximum fine of $30,000 for subsequent offenses.

  • Trafficking 100 grams or more of narcotics

Five years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000 for a first offense.
Seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000 for subsequent offenses.

Penalties for Schedule III Drugs with Intent to Deliver

Up to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

Penalties for Schedule IV Drugs with Intent to Deliver

Up to three years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

Penalties for Schedule V Drugs with Intent to Deliver

Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

For a full list of penalties read our page on Drug Conviction Penalties in Pennsylvania.

HOW KETCHEL LAW CAN HELP

At Ketchel Law, our number one goal is to have your case dismissed and charges withdrawn. If that is not possible, there are numerous ways of attempting a reduction in sentencing such as probation vs. jail.

Drug trafficking charges do not have to mean you will be convicted. A skilled drug attorney who will closely examine every possible angle and detail of your case will protect your rights. Our skilled Pittsburgh criminal lawyers will work every angle to fight for your freedom.

WE FIGHT FOR A REDUCED SENTENCE OR CHARGES DISMISSED COMPLETELY

We start by conducting an investigation and digging into the arrest files in order to build a strong defense against your charges. If any missteps were taken during your arrest, your case could be thrown out of court. If that is not possible we will work to prove your innocence or fight for a reduced sentence. We will always seek to find the best alternative for you and your unique situation.

We are skillful attorneys and know how to negotiate and are successful in winning numerous drug cases in Pennsylvania.

If you were charged with a drug crime, call Justin Ketchel today for a free consultation.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

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