Drug Crime Penalties Pennsylvania

Information on Drug Crime Penalties in Pennsylvania

drug penalties pennsylvaniaWhat’s at Stake When You are Charged with Drug Possession or PWID in PA?

Half of Americans have used illicit drugs in their lifetimes and overdose deaths have risen exponentially in the past few years.

For this reason, state and federal authorities are cracking down harder than ever on controlled substances and the penalties people face for drug charges. For example, the federal budget for controlling drugs in 2022 was $39 billion. In 1980 it was not even $2 billion.

If you or a loved one are convicted of a drug crime, the penalties can be very tough. In addition to a permanent criminal record, you could be sent to prison, drug treatment programs and testing, lose your license, and be forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines.

The lasting consequences of a drug conviction can be challenging for the rest of your life – try explaining your criminal activity to any employer or potential landlord, a loan officer, or a school admissions officer, all of whom have a right to request a background check.

A drug charge is not a drug conviction. Don’t give up hope. 

However, not every drug charge results in a full conviction. Until then, you have the right to defend yourself and protect your freedom by fighting your charges. At Wana Saadzoi Law, we help people build a strong defense with the ultimate goal of getting the charges dismissed completely or, if that is not possible, trying to get the charges significantly reduced and negotiating for a reduction in penalties.

Our attorneys help people from all walks of life who have been arrested for all types of drug crimes, whether it is possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or prescription meds. We have the experience and the knowledge to build a strong case and help you achieve the best possible outcome, whether you were charged with PWID or simple drug possession.

Call me today – Attorney Saadzoi – for a free legal case evaluation. I will work to get your charges dismissed or have a reduction in charges.  

The drug lawyers at Wana Saadzoi Law have years of experience winning tough drug cases in Southeast Pennsylvania. We can help fight your drug charges.

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Delco, PA| Chesco, PA | Montco, PA

What are the Penalties for a Drug Possession in PA?

Most drug offenses are simple possession charges, which means prosecutors are trying you for drugs in your possession that were most likely intended for personal use. Even though it is much less serious than a drug trafficking charge, it still could mean lengthy jail time and heavy fines, not to mention a permanent misdemeanor on your criminal record.

When you are convicted, the judge has minimum and maximum guidelines to go by when they hand you a sentence. These guidelines are highly dependent on the type of drug you were found in possession of and the quantity of the drug, as well as whether this is a first or subsequent offense.

The general guidelines for simple possession, first offense penalties in Pennsylvania are as follows:

    • Marijuana, small amount (less than 30 grams): Up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a misdemeanor. In addition, you will receive a six-month license suspension from PennDOT. Read the NORML website for more information on marijuana penalties based on type and amount.
    • Fentanyl: Being convicted of any amount of Fentanyl is a minimum of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
    • All Other Drug Possession, such as cocaine, heroin, illegal prescription meds, etc.: A misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and up to $5,000 in fines.

With a subsequent offense, you face up to three years in prison and fines of up to $25,000, as well as other penalties.

In addition to these penalties, it is also possible you will lose other rights, such as your driver’s license, legally owning a firearm, and loss of parental rights. You may also be required to enter drug treatment programs.

You may also face other difficulties that come with any criminal conviction, such as an increase in insurance premiums, the inability to obtain student loans or financing for a car or home, and difficulty in finding employment or renting a home.

There are many defenses to drug charges in Pennsylvania. At Wana Saadzoi Law, we will fully investigate the police handling of your case, and details so we can provide the best defense possible. See below for more information on how we can help fight your drug charges.

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Pennsylvania Drug Lawyers: Wana Saadzoi Law

Delco | Chesco | Montco

What are the Penalties for Possession with Intent to Deliver in PA?

If the police have cause to believe that you were distributing or manufacturing drugs, they may charge you with Possession with Intent to Distribute, also known as “drug trafficking”. This could also apply if they find a large quantity of drugs in your possession.

These charges are much more serious than simple possession, as they often result in a felony.

The penalties are highly dependent on the “schedule” that the drugs fall under. Most illegal drugs fall under Schedule I and Schedule II, like marijuana, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, Adderall, Fentanyl, and most hallucinogens.

All PWID charges of a Schedule I or II drug in Pennsylvania mean you face the following penalties upon conviction of a first offense:

    • A felony;
    • Two to five years in prison;
    • Fines ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. 

The penalties are higher if it is a subsequent offense.

The amount of drugs determines the lower or higher end of the penalty – for a full rundown of the penalties for each schedule with their respective amount, see Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act or the United States Drug Enforcement Agency Scheduling Page. You can also view Section § 7508.  Drug trafficking sentencing and penalties of the PA Code, Title 18. 

If you were charged with PWID in Pennsylvania, it’s important to not say anything to the police unless you have an attorney by your side. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say, any phone calls you make from jail – unless you are speaking with your attorney – can also be used against you.

Contact Attorney Wana Saaadzoi about your case – she has years of experience successfully litigating tough drug cases in Southeast Pennsylvania. Free Consultations: 610-566-5956

What are the Penalties for Prescription Fraud in Pennsylvania?

If you have been charged with prescription fraud, it may be because the police suspected you of obtaining prescription drugs by deception, fraud, or forgery. For example, making a copy of a doctor’s prescription and/or changing the date on a prescription or stealing prescription pads and forging them is prescription fraud.

Common prescription medications that result in prescription fraud include codeine, Valium, morphine, hydrocodone or Vicodin, Xanax, Oxycontin, Percocet, Demoral, Ritolen, Percocet, and Adderall.

You can also be charged with prescription fraud if you are a medical professional who illegally sells prescriptions, writes unnecessary prescriptions, or writes prescriptions to others and then buys back the pills for themselves.

If someone is illegally manufacturing prescription medication, they can also be charged with prescription fraud (usually on top of PWID charges.)

A prescription fraud conviction in Pennsylvania usually has a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. 

If you are a medical or pharmaceutical professional and were charged with prescription fraud, you could lose your professional license.

There are many medications out there that people may feel they need, illegal and prescription – addiction is a disease that deserves treatment, not prison time. That is why we fight hard for our client’s rights – because we know starting over is never easy, but everyone deserves that chance.

Indirect Penalties for a Drug Conviction in Pennsylvania

A PWID conviction in Pennsylvania can send you to prison and require you to pay thousands of dollars in fines. But what happens after that? The indirect penalties from a conviction can have a deep impact on your future and severely limit your options for finding housing, jobs, and education.

A conviction could also lead to a loss of legal immigration status, loss of employment, loss of parental custody, loss of your right to own a gun, and hurt your future job prospects, college applications, and even the ability to find housing and obtain financing to buy a car or home.

The penalties are harsh and life-changing. One mistake can cost you an entire future. This is why we are compassionate at Wana Saadzoi Law and will do everything possible to fight your charges and have them dropped or significantly reduced.


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Pennsylvania Drug Lawyers: Wana Saadzoi Law

Delaware County, PA | Chester County, PA | Montgomery County, PA

How Can Wana Saadzoi Law Help Fight Your Drug Charges?

If you or your loved one was arrested for marijuana possession, cocaine, heroin, PCP, illegal prescription drugs, Fentanyl, methamphetamines, or any other controlled substance in Pennsylvania, Attorney Saadzoio can help fight your charges.

A skilled drug lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case, looking for any missteps the police may have taken in your case. If any are found, it could result in a full dismissal. For example, if police lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to arrest you, a Motion to Suppress can be filed. We will also look at other possible defenses, such as lack of knowledge of possession or lack of intent to distribute. It’s also possible the drugs simply did not belong to you and for this defense, it helps to have an attorney who can effectively argue your case. For example, if a parent is arrested when their adult children have drugs in their home without their knowledge. Other defenses are possible, like entrapment or the drugs being planted by another person. These are all plausible defenses that can be argued and won in court.

I will investigate the charges against you, gather evidence, and file motions to reduce or dismiss the charges. It may be possible to get you admitted to a drug treatment program instead of prison or you may be eligible for the Pennsylvania ARD Program if it is a first offense. In addition, probation may also be on the table for negotiation instead of jail.

Whatever the case, we will work to get the best possible result – hopefully, one that keeps you out of jail.

Contact Pennsylvania Attorney Wana Saadzoi if you are facing criminal charges or are the subject of a criminal investigation. As your lawyer, I will fight to protect your legal rights.

Call 610-566-5956 to schedule a free legal case evaluation. 

*Spanish translation services are available. Servicios de traducción al español están disponibles.

Call Wana Saadzoi Law – Experienced and Aggressive Drug Lawyers

Contact Pennsylvania Attorney Wana Saadzoi if you are facing criminal drug charges or are the subject of a criminal investigation. As your attorney, I will fight to protect your legal rights.

Call 610-566-5956 to schedule a free legal case evaluation. 

Get Aggressive Representation
Call Today for a Free Legal Case Evaluation

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