Berks County Drug Trafficking Attorney

Pennsylvania has continued to take action against illegal drug distribution and manufacturing. The Governor's Office explained their commitment to “disrupting the flow of illegal drugs” statewide. In 2019, Governor Wolf renewed his “opioid disaster declaration” used to expedite monitoring, enforcement, and treatment measures. In 2017, there were more than 5,300 fatal drug overdoses in Pennsylvania.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Arrests

2018

2017

2016

2015

26,645

27,307

29,067

31,618

Between 2014 and 2019 in Berks County there were 461 deaths attributed to drug overdoses. Approximately 78% of these fatalities involved fentanyl, heroin or cocaine. The Berks County Narcotics Unit is a key division within the Berks County District Attorney's Office for drug enforcement.

The Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act

Controlled substances are those classified in Schedules I through V under the act. A formal term that refers to illegal drug distribution is “possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.” This is differentiated from mere possession of a controlled substance. The term deliver is the “actual, constructive, or attempted transfer” of a controlled substance among parties. It must be proven that the offender cultivated, manufactured, or otherwise obtained the substance with the intent to deliver.

Pennsylvania Drug Trafficking Sentence and Penalty Matrix

Substance

Quantity

Incarceration Period

Fines

Marijuana

2 lbs. – 10 lbs. or 10 – 21 live plants

1 year

$5,000

 

10 lbs. – 50 lbs. or 21 – 51 live plants

3 years

$15,000

 

Over 50 lbs. or 51 live plants

5 years

$50,000

Schedule I or II Narcotics

2 – 10 grams

2 years

$5,000

 

10 -100 grams

3 years

$15,000

 

Over 100 grams

5 years

$25,000

Methamphetamine

5 – 10 grams

3 years

$15,000

 

10 – 100 grams

4 years

$25,000

 

Over 100 grams

5 years

$50,000

Cocaine

2 - 10 grams

1 year

$5,000

 

10 - 100 grams

3 years

$15,000

 

Over 100 grams

4 years

$25,000

Heroin

1 - 5 grams

2 years

$5,000

 

5 - 50 grams

3 years

$15,000

 

Over 50 grams

5 years

$25,000

Drug Trafficking Involving Minors (§6314)

The state imposes enhanced penalties when an adult delivers or possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance to a minor. This offense carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year. There are various provisions that may extend the mandatory minimum prison sentence to two years as follows:

  • The offense was conducted with “intent to promote habitual use” of the drug
  • The offender sought to or obtained assistance from a minor in activities such as transporting, delivering, or sales of drugs
  • A drug transaction occurred within 1,000 feet from an educational institution (school)
  • A drug transaction occurred on a school bus or within 500 feet of a school bus stop

Death Associated With Drug Delivery (§2506)

The law now allows for a drug dealer to be charged with a first-degree felony if a drug user has a fatal overdose. This applies to an offender who “intentionally administers, dispenses, delivers, gives, prescribes, sells or distributes any controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance” to someone who dies from usage. Up to a 40-year prison sentence may be imposed.

Attorney Defends Charges of Drug Trafficking in Pennsylvania

Joseph D. Lento is a lawyer that has spent many years effectively defending clients against criminal allegations such as drug possession or distribution. With the increasingly harsh sentences and other penalties that may be imposed, it is critical to retain counsel that focuses on this area of legal practice. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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