Most people in Pennsylvania are aware of the fact that it is against the law for a person to possess, distribute, sell, manufacture, and transport illegal drugs. Doing so will expose even those who have squeaky clean criminal records to penalties that consist of imprisonment and very costly fines. However, most people may be oblivious to less known drug crimes, referred to as the possession and sale of legal precursor chemicals.
Precursor Chemical Laws in Pennsylvania
Precursor chemicals are substances that are commonly used in the illegal manufacture of illegal narcotic drugs. The substances themselves are generally legal, however, when they are used to create a controlled substance in an illegal manufacturing process, the possession and sale of a certain quantity of these chemicals is considered criminal activity. Methylamine, for example, is an organic compound that is used to manufacture methamphetamine. As you may know, meth is a controlled substance that is outright banned in the state of Pennsylvania.
In many cases, precursor chemicals are used in the process to create items for lawful purposes. But since they are often used to manufacture illegal drugs, the government and the state has implemented laws that place severe restrictions on their possession, sale, and importation.
Since the authorities take this crime very seriously, people in all phases of these chemicals' transportation, sale, and manufacturing processes can be arrested and charged with criminal offenses. The courts have been known to prosecute a large range of people active in this process, from people buying precursor chemicals on the internet to drivers who deliver these chemicals to illegal manufacturers. In rare cases, people who work for chemical and pharmaceutical companies have been convicted of this crime for obtaining and selling large quantities of these chemicals and failing to properly document these sales.
The penalties for this offense will be determined based on an array of factors. These factors include, the amount of precursor chemicals found on the scene, the quantity of illegal drugs manufactured from these chemicals, the types of manufactured drugs and chemicals involved, the criminal history of a defendant, whether or not a weapon was present, whether or not people were harmed in the commission of a crime, and other relevant elements.
The maximum penalty for possessing a precursor chemical is imprisonment for up to 20 years.
Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with any drug crime, it is crucial that you get in contact with an attorney. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience advocating for clients who've acquired drug charges, and either reducing their sentence significantly or getting their case completely dismissed. He can do the same for you. Contact him today.