Drug use is a problem across the country, and Pennsylvania is no exception. Not surprisingly, some of the most common drug crimes in Pennsylvania involve trafficking since selling illegal drugs offers an easy way to make quick cash. While the short term opportunity may be appealing, these activities are illegal and, the risks, if you are caught and convicted, can result in spending many years in prison.

A drug conviction in Pennsylvania comes with some very harsh penalties, which is why it’s a good idea to avoid making any statements to the police and contact a Philadelphia drug crimes attorney as soon as you are arrested.

What are the Most Common Drug Crimes?

Heroin, cocaine, and marijuana are the three most commonly used and sold drugs in Pennsylvania. While cocaine use has decreased in most of the United States, it’s still fairly prevalent in Pennsylvania. In fact, many people in the state enter drug treatment to deal with cocaine addiction.

Due to its low cost and easy accessibility, heroin has quickly become a major factor in the state’s opioid epidemic. Many people use it, and from all walks of life. The effects of these drugs are far from harmless and can be seen regularly on the nightly news. For instance, in 2014, there were 611 drug overdose deaths in Philadelphia and 303 overdose deaths in Allegheny County. Forty percent of these resulted from heroin and cocaine.

One major reason for the prevalence of these drugs in Philadelphia and the state as a whole is essentially the key component of many businesses – Location. Philadelphia rests along Interstate 95, a major freeway that runs through Miami, Washington, DC, New York City, and Boston. This makes it relatively easy to transport drugs in and out of the state.

In Pennsylvania, the main focus on quelling drug crime is centered around cocaine and heroin, but marijuana remains the state’s most commonly used illegal drug. Marijuana use was recently made legal for medicinal purposes and while small amounts are not typically punished too severely, marijuana is still illegal.

Stopping the trafficking of these drugs in Pennsylvania has understandably become a top priority for law enforcement. To accomplish this, a lot of resources have been allocated, including manpower and substantial prison sentences for those convicted to act as a deterrent.

Drug Crime Penalties

Drug penalties in Pennsylvania vary based on the type of drug and the amount. For marijuana, possession crimes are charged as misdemeanors. If you have 30 grams or less, you could face 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Anything over that amount can result in a $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail. Cultivation of marijuana is a felony punishable by $15,000 in fines and five years in prison.

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug that comes with much stricter penalties. A prison sentence can range from 3 – 15 years. Fines can range from $25,000 – $250,000.

Heroin trafficking is the most serious drug crime. If you’re convicted of this crime, you may spend up to 25 years in prison and pay up to $500,000 in fines.

If you sell drugs to minors or in a school zone, your penalties can be enhanced.

Get Legal Help Right Away

Navigating the criminal justice system alone can be scary. There’s a lot at stake and one wrong move can irreparably affect your life and even your freedom.

Whether you are charged with minor drug possession or felony drug trafficking, you will be facing consequences that will tarnish your permanent record. You may be sent to prison or unable to get a decent job with a drug conviction on your record. That’s why it is critical to discuss your situation and go over all of your options with a highly skilled Philadelphia drug crimes attorney with considerable experience in cases just like yours.

As an accomplished criminal defense attorney, Michael Fienman has helped countless individuals facing drug charges in Pennsylvania achieve favorable outcomes through aggressive representation combined with personalized attention.

To learn how Fienman Defense can help you, contact us for a free consultation at (215) 839-9529.

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