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Criminal Drug Lawyer in Camp Hill & Harrisburg, PA

Have You Been Arrested, Charged, Or Indicted In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?

The drug laws in Pennsylvania are based on the premise that drug use is harmful to society. Drug possession and distribution are both illegal, and those caught violating these laws can face severe penalties. However, the state does provide some leniency for first-time offenders and those with addiction problems. Pennsylvania also has a number of programs in place to help offenders get treatment for their addiction and avoid returning to criminal activity.

If you have been arrested or are facing charges for drug offenses, you will need to retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer experienced in drug cases. The attorneys at Grace Legal have years of experience as public defenders and private criminal defense attorneys and therefore have the knowledge to represent individuals to achieve the best possible outcome.

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If you need your legal rights protected, contact us now.

Drug Offenses FAQs

In Pennsylvania there are several different possible drug crimes a prosecutor can charge including, but not limited to:

  • Possession
  • Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Trafficking

Each of the above will have different penalties largely determined on the basis of whether it includes misdemeanor crimes or felonies.

Drug possession is the unlawful possession of a controlled substance. To be convicted of drug possession, the prosecutor must show that you knowingly and intentionally possessed the drug. For this reason, this charge is frequently known as “simple possession.”

Drug possession can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the amount of drugs involved. Penalties can range from probation to several years in prison.

A typical first offense carries up to 1 year in jail with costs and fines up to $100,000. Subsequent convictions can result in higher penalties.

Drug distribution charges are often called “possession with intent to deliver.” This is a felony charge and carries a minimum five-year prison sentence if convicted.

To prove their case, the prosecutor must show that you grew, manufactured, purchased, or received an illegal drug with the intent to deliver it to another person. The key to conviction here is proof of your intent.

An “intent” crime requires the prosecutors to prove that you had the state of mind (intent) to distribute drugs. Your defense attorney can evaluate your defenses based on the facts of your specific case.

Drug manufacturing is the unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance as set forth in the statute. To be convicted of drug manufacturing, the prosecutor must show that you knowingly and intentionally manufactured the drug.

Drug manufacturing charges may result from a variety of circumstances, such as operating a drug lab, conspiring with others to manufacture drugs, or the growing and/or sourcing of products necessary for the manufacture of drugs.

Drug trafficking is the knowing and intentional transportation or sale of a controlled substance. The penalties for drug trafficking depend on the amount of drugs involved.

People arrested with a large quantity of drugs in their possession may be charged with trafficking on the legal theory that there is no reason to have a large quantity of drugs in your possession unless you intended to sell the drugs to others.

Drug trafficking is a serious charge that carries serious penalties from prison to very large fines. Criminal defense attorneys with experience in drug crimes are best suited to defend you properly, protect your rights, and seek to achieve the best possible outcome.

Drug crimes involve possession and/or distribution of schedule I, II, III, IV or V drugs.

  • Schedule I drugs are those substances with no accepted medical use that have a high potential for abuse. These drugs include heroin LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, and methamphetamines.
  • Schedule II drugs are substances with a high potential for abuse which can cause severe psychological or physical dependence. Schedule II drugs are considered less dangerous than Schedule I drugs. Examples of these substances include cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, OxyContin, PCP, and Ritalin.
  • Schedule III drugs are substances with a low to moderate potential for physical or psychological dependence that are considered less dangerous than schedule I or schedule II drugs. Examples of these drugs include Vicodin, Tylenol with codeine, anabolic steroids, insulin, human growth hormone, and testosterone.
  • Schedule IV drugs are substances considered less dangerous with less chance of abuse. These include Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Ativan, and Darvocet.
  • Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and legitimate medical uses. These include over-the-counter drugs with small amounts of codeine.
  • First-Degree Felony: 20 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000
  • Second-Degree Felony: 10 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000
  • Third-Degree Felony: Seven years in prison and fines reaching $15,000
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: Five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor: Two years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Third-Degree Misdemeanor: One year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000

Depending on the charge, and whether a plea bargain has been negotiated with the prosecutor, the sentencing judge in a drug case will arrive at a sentence based on the facts of your case. This is a complex part of your legal representation and your criminal defense lawyers will work with you and the prosecutor to determine if there are factors that might increase or reduce the jail time and fines you are facing.

As you know, or will soon learn, the criminal justice system is complex and when it comes to a criminal charge for drugs there is a great deal on the line. There is a risk of exposure to prison, penalties, and fines. A drug charge and conviction can have an impact on you personally, your family, your finances, employment, and future endeavors should you be incarcerated.

First and foremost, the Central Pennsylvania and Harrisburg criminal defense attorneys at Grace Legal are going to protect your constitutional rights. There are several aspects of your case that must be investigated by your criminal defense lawyers. These include:

  • Arrest. Was your arrest and any evidence seized legal and constitutional? The police reports, warrants, witnesses and other evidence will be scrutinized and if necessary, a motion could be made to throw out your arrest or quash the evidence against you.
  • Bail. Your defense lawyer will be with you in court to argue for no bail, release on your own recognizance, or the lowest bail possible.
  • Independent Investigation. The police and prosecutors will have done their own investigation of the charges against you. That, however, is not where the investigation ends. First, your defense attorney has to examine and evaluate the prosecution’s evidence to make sure you don’t have any procedural or constitutional arguments to make to quash evidence. Second, the Grace Legal team will seek out additional evidence and witnesses to refute the prosecution’s case.
  • Plea Bargain. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, entering into a plea agreement may be in your best interest. The Grace Legal team can assess the offer by the prosecutor, advise you, and attempt to negotiate a better deal.
  • Trial. In the event a plea agreement is not in your best interest, the decision may be made between you and your lawyer to proceed to a trial. A prosecutor has the obligation to prove the charges against you “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If they cannot meet that burden, you will be acquitted of the charges.

You have the right to represent yourself against criminal charges. However, when facing charges that could result in imprisonment, fines and penalties, it’s in your best interest to have an experienced criminal law firm managing your case.

Grace Legal has years of experience defending against drug charges. As former public defenders and years in practice as criminal defense attorneys, we have seen and dealt with all the possible charges you face. We have the knowledge and experience, which are essential to reaching the best outcome possible.