There are stricter punishments for different drug offenses in Pennsylvania. The defendant's prior criminal history aside, the charges themselves can impact the potential punishment. For example, if a person is charged with simple possession versus possessing drugs with intent to distribute, selling drugs, in other words, the punishment potentially would, of course, be different. Possession could be or would result in most instances in a lesser punishment than selling drugs.
The amount of drugs that a person had on him or her or is charged with would also be a major factor, the weight of the drugs, that is, in terms of determining the potential punishment or sentence. If a firearm was used in the commission of the drug offense, that's an aggravating factor that would result in a potentially more significant punishment. There's various factors because so much is at stake and because a drug offense is such a serious matter. Having an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney in your corner from as early as possible in the process will help you best defend against the allegations and will help you best understand and navigate the criminal process.