Bucks County, PA Drug Charges Defense Lawyer
What to Expect if You Are Arrested on Drug Charges in Bucks County
No matter what type or quantity of substance is involved, drug charges are treated as very serious criminal matters in the state of Pennsylvania. Allegations of personal use, distribution, or other offenses can immediately result in permanent damage to your professional reputation, while the court-imposed penalties for a conviction can include years in prison and massive fines in the tens of thousands.
You will also receive a criminal record, which can follow you around for years after your release from prison. The vast majority of employers conduct background checks, and a former narcotics conviction can interfere with your ability to keep steady employment or obtain certain work certifications. Furthermore, your driver’s license may be suspended, which can make commuting and other travel virtually impossible.
The bottom line is that if you are facing drug allegations, you risk losing your career, your financial stability, and even your freedom itself. You need help from an experienced lawyer who can walk you through the court proceedings and defend your legal rights. To set up a free and completely confidential case evaluation, call the Bucks County drug defense lawyers of Young, Marr & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today. Let’s start exploring your options together.
Types of Drug Charges in Pennsylvania
Drug charges sometimes come with a social stigma that can isolate defendants at a time when they need support most. At Young, Marr & Associates, we take a tailored, strategic approach to each and every case, and strive to provide our clients with the most aggressive and comprehensive defense possible. Our dedicated attorneys have more than 30 years of experience working with thousands of clients facing a wide variety of narcotics charges, including but not limited to:
- Simple (Personal) Possession
- Possession with Intent to Distribute
- Prescription Drug Charges
What is Drug Scheduling?
Scheduling plays an important role in many cases involving controlled substances, but what does it mean?
Simply put, drugs are assigned different numeric “schedules” by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). To quote the DEA, “Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence. […] Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse.”
In other words, the lower a drug’s numeric value is, the more severely crimes involving that drug can be penalized.
- Schedule I: Marijuana, Heroin, LSD, Peyote
- Schedule II: Methamphetamine, Cocaine, OxyContin, Adderall
- Schedule III: Vicodin, Ketamine, Anabolic Steroids
- Schedule IV: Xanax, Valium
Penalties for Marijuana Charges in Pennsylvania
Despite its classification as a Schedule I substance, marijuana is subject to its own unique set of criminal penalties. As with other drugs, these penalties can change dramatically based on the amount of marijuana involved with a given charge.
Under 35 Pa.C.S.A. 113-780(a)(31), “30 grams of marihuana or eight grams of hashish shall
be considered a small amount of marihuana.” This 30-gram threshold is reflected in the sentencing and fines:
- Simple Possession, 30 grams or less: Misdemeanor, up to 30 days, up to $500.
- Simple Possession, more than 30 grams: Misdemeanor, up to 1 year, up to $5,000.
It should be noted that these are the penalties for first offenses. For a repeat offense, these fines and sentences could double.
Because 30 grams is considered to be a “small amount” under Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetics Act, possession at this level is often considered to be “simple” or personal-use possession. However, if the amount increases, or if the alleged offender also has paraphernalia which suggests sales and distribution (e.g. baggies and weighing scales), a charge of possession with intent to distribute is possible. This is a more serious offense than simple possession and has the potential to be classified as a felony.
Examples of marijuana felonies in Pennsylvania include:
- Sale or Distribution, 2-10 pounds: Mandatory minimum of 1 year, fine of $5,000.
- Sale or Distribution, 10-50 pounds: Mandatory minimum of 3 years, fine of $25,000.
It should be noted that while a judge cannot reduce these minimums, he or she can impose a sentence which is greater than the minimum in some situations.
Additionally, the presence of certain factors can make the consequences of a conviction worse. Examples include a sale taking place within 1,000 feet of a designated school zone, sale to a minor, and a record of prior offenses.
Furthermore, the presence of actual marijuana may not even be necessary. Possession of paraphernalia can also trigger charges, with a conviction potentially resulting in one to two years in prison, as well as a fine ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. The greater penalties represent sale to a minor.
Our Bucks County, PA Drug Charges Defense Attorneys Can Help
If you or someone you love is facing narcotics charges in Bucks County, it is critically important that you speak to an experienced defense attorney right away. Call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania to schedule your free and confidential legal consultation, or contact us online today.
NO JAIL TIME
Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)
Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.
Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)
Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.
Commonwealth v. "S"
Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.
State of New Jersey v. "H"
Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.
OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE TEAM INCLUDES TWO FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.
As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.