Chester County Drug Trafficking Attorney

Drug trafficking offenses in the U.S. in 2017 were committed by men over 84% of the time and most were white, black, or Hispanic. The average age of the offender was 36. Nearly 75% of those convicted were U.S. citizens and roughly 48% had a very minimal history of criminal activity.

There were a total of 19,043 drug trafficking offenses across the U.S. in 2017. Approximately 97.4% of these cases resulted in some type of plea, with merely 2.6% leading to a trial. In Pennsylvania, these rates were virtually identical to the national average, as only 2.7% of cases went to the trial phase.

Chester County Drug Court

In Chester County in 2017, there were an estimated 2,096 overall offenses that were drug-related. Chester was the second county in the state to establish a drug court. The Chester County Drug Court Program allows eligible offenders to enter a program of supervision that spans 12 to 24 months. These cases are classified as “a disposition in lieu of trial or criminal punishment.” Those who successfully complete all phases of the program are eligible for having their criminal charges dismissed and a clean criminal record.

The state provisions for drug trafficking offenses are separated according to the drug involved and quantity involved. The following chart outlines three of the most common types.

Substance

Quantity

Incarceration Period

Fines

Marijuana

2-10 pounds or 10-21 live plants

1 year

$5,000

 

10-50 pounds or 21-51 live plants

3 years

$15,000

 

Over 50 pounds or 51 live plants

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

The Pennsylvania Code now increases all these penalties when the offender has a prior conviction for drug trafficking. For example, the first-tier heroin offense involving 1 to 5 grams is upgraded to a mandatory minimum penalty of 3 years and a $10,000 fine.

Enhanced Penalties: Federal Drug Offenses

Drug trafficking offenses also have a vast array of provisions that potentially upgrade or enhance the penalties based on certain factors. At the federal level, a program known as Enhanced Penalties for Federal Drug Trafficking Offenders was implemented. This applies to those with a previous drug conviction. When “851 enhancements” are imposed on offenders, the average sentence increased to a period of 61 months.

Forfeitures and Driver's License Suspensions

The court may order that assets associated with drug offenses be forfeited and auctioned, this is designed as a deterrent. Up until 2018, the state imposed mandatory driver's license suspensions for most drug offenses, even when the crime did not involve driving. From 2011 to 2016, roughly 149,000 individuals had their license suspended for drug offenses. Activists created public and legislative support to end this practice, which was said to hinder the offender's progress and was disproportionately hurting minorities and those with little income.

Drug Delivery Resulting in Death

The state allows for first-degree felony charges when someone delivers, sells, or otherwise distributes a drug that results in the death of the user. A first-degree felony conviction is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 40 years.

Experienced Defense Lawyer for Drug Offenses in Pennsylvania

Attorney Joseph D. Lento understands that those alleged to have been trafficking in drugs may face life-altering penalties. He aggressively represents clients in these matters to achieve favorable results. Contact the office today for a complimentary case evaluation at (888) 535-3686.

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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 and New Jersey 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, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, 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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