Simple Possession of Drug Charges in PA

Being Charged with Simple Drug Possession in PA

What happens next?

Pennsylvania state legislators work very hard to crack down on drug offenses. As a result, people convicted of drug crimes receive very harsh sentencing, often resulting in serving lengthy jail/prison sentences.

Trying to avoid a conviction at all costs is of utmost importance—talking with an experienced Pittsburgh drug attorney to fight for your rights and your freedom.

Don’t ever think that just because the police have found drugs on you that they have “proof” that you are guilty.

Possession of any controlled substance (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine, PCP, LSD, Opium and any illegal prescription meds, such as Adderall or Vicodin, if you do not have a valid prescription) is illegal and, even if it is only a small quantity, still comes with misdemeanor charges under Pennsylvania law.

If you are convicted, you could be facing one year of jail time and a $5,000 fine for a first offense, not to mention your driver’s license could also be suspended.

In the case of marijuana, possession of a small amount (defined as less than 30 grams of cannabis for personal use) has a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.



Actual & Constructive Possession

There are two basic types of simple possession charges: Actual Possession and Constructive Possession.

A Simple Possession charge that alleges you were in possession of a controlled substance, which means it was found on your person or in your pocket (backpack, purse, shoe, etc.) is considered “Actual”.

If you have been charged with Constructive Possession, this means the drugs were found somewhere that you have control over or access to, such as the car you were driving or the house you live in.

PWID Drugs

If you have been arrested with possession with intent to deliver (PWID) in Pennsylvania, that is a whole other ball game and the charges are much more severe as a PWID charge is classified as a felony.

Prosecutors will decide whether or not to charge you with possession with intent to deliver, using any evidence to prove you are a drug dealer. Evidence could include the quantity of drugs in your possession or whether you also had a large amount of cash on your person.

Possession of Drugs Paraphernalia Charges

It is also illegal to possess drug paraphernalia used for smoking or ingesting illegal drugs, such as a bong or pipe, even if you do not have any actual drugs in your possession.

Penalties for paraphernalia are up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine for a first offense.



DEFENDING YOUR RIGHTS—An arrest is not a conviction.

Just because you have been charged with possession of drugs does not mean you will be convicted. You are presumed innocent of all charges unless a judge or jury finds you guilty.

A skilled drug defense attorney will vehemently battle all charges to protect your rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

There are a number of defenses that a skilled drug defense attorney can use to battle your charges.

The police need probable cause to search the area where the drugs were located. In addition, they must have the reasonable suspicion to perform the search to begin with and there are several procedures they must follow.

If you were charged after a search and seizure and the police violated your Constitutional rights, a motion to suppress the evidence can be brought. If the evidence is suppressed, the case will be dismissed.



At Ketchel Law, our greatest strength lies in critically analyzing and dissecting the details of a police officer’s report looking for inherent weaknesses and questioning the testimony of any experts or witnesses.

If the police officer conducted an illegal search or seizure or arrested you without probable cause, our law firm will immediately file a suppression motion seeking a dismissal of your charges.

It is important that you do not delay in finding a drug defense lawyer in Pittsburgh — call me, Justin J. Ketchel, now for a free consultation today so I can be better able to defend your rights.

The quantity of drugs and any prior convictions will also be determining factors in your sentencing, if convicted. There are several other angles that may allow for lesser sentencing and/or a dismissal of charges.

Call Justin J. Ketchel today for a free consultation of your case. At Ketchel Law, we listen to all of our clients closely because we know that the slightest detail can make a difference in winning or losing a case.

Our number one goal: Having your possession of drugs case dismissed.

If you are charged with Simple Possession of Drugs in Pennsylvania it is possible to be accepted into a Drug Diversion Program in PA , such as Probation Without Verdict (PWOV) which will result in a full dismissal of your charge(s) and expungement of your criminal record.

In order to find out if you qualify for PWOV, you should contact an experienced drug attorney in Pennsylvania who can help identify key points in your case.

Other options are the Pennsylvania Drug Court and the ARD Program for first offenders.

Ketchel Law offers a free consultation and will closely listen to the details of your case in order to build a strong defense.

A conversation with an experienced drug attorney will help you better understand all the possible defenses to drug possession charges. If the evidence cannot be suppressed or if the drug possession charges cannot be dismissed, there are still several options for a reduction of sentencing.

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