Drug trafficking is one of the more serious drug crimes in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia law enforcement is very strict in its handling of this and related drug crime offenses. Drug trafficking refers to activities more expansive than mere possession of a drug for personal use; drug trafficking refers to an offense involving large quantities of drugs that are sometimes transported across county lines and even state lines.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with drug trafficking it is very important to seek the guidance of an experienced, strategic defense attorney. This is not a charge you can afford to be lax about. This is the kind of charge that can get you incarcerated for years, not to mention all the other penalties and collateral consequences that will come with a conviction.
What is the offense of drug trafficking in Pennsylvania?
Drug trafficking is a drug crime involving large quantities of drugs – to the point law enforcement does not believe the drugs are for personal use. It can also involve the manufacture, sale, distribution, or transport of the drug.
To be convicted of a drug trafficking charged in Philadelphia, the prosecutor must prove that you:
- grew, manufactured, or obtained an illegal drug; and then
- delivered or intended to deliver the drug to another person or persons.
It is important to note that under certain circumstances – like transporting the drugs across state lines – you can be charged with state or federal crimes.
What happens if convicted of drug trafficking in Philadelphia?
Drug trafficking is usually a felony offense in Pennsylvania, and that's the same even for first-time offenders. Penalties can range in severity depending on three main factors:
- the type of drug;
- the quantity of the drug;
- any prior drug crime convictions; and
- the totality of the circumstances, like trafficking on the internet, trafficking that involves a fatality, or trafficking to minors, all of which can enhance the sentence if convicted.
The penalties for a drug trafficking conviction are controlled by Section 7508 of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, and the penalties vary greatly. For felony charges, you can face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. For other charges, you can face as little as one year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Penalties for trafficking marijuana is significantly less than penalties for trafficking methamphetamine. The penalties for trafficking less than 10 lbs. of marijuana are less than trafficking more than 10 lbs. of the same. Further, as noted above, any prior convictions can result in an enhanced sentence.
To know what you could face in your specific situation, it is important to speak to an experienced drug trafficking attorney in Philadelphia.
How can a Philadelphia drug trafficking defense attorney help my case?
At the Lento Law Firm, we understand just how a drug trafficking conviction can impact a person's life to his or her detriment. We are committed to your defense. And remember: the State must prove you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, anything less means no conviction. We challenge the state in a way to create doubt and show the crime of drug trafficking was not committed.
Contact Joseph D. Lento today either online or at 215-535-5353.