Philadelphia drug possession lawyer
Drug charges often hold mandatory sentences ranging anywhere from one-year incarceration to life in prison. If you have been charged with possession, distribution, or manufacturing of drugs, do not trust your future to any lawyer.
If you are arrested on a drug charge, you need a savvy, experienced defense team to help you navigate from initial arrest through to the conclusion of your case. ThePhillyLawyers have over twenty years’ experience in representing clients on drug charges.
We have also developed strong, professional relationships with local law enforcement and prosecutor’s offices, which greatly aids our clients. We advocate in every possible way, finding alternatives such as Drug Court, Veteran’s Court, rehabilitation, and community service. We fight for our clients so that they can maintain their freedom, employment, and can return to their community.
Too often, those charged with drug offenses have had their rights violated by the police or other law enforcement officials. ThePhillyLawyers will work diligently to protect your Constitutional Rights and have illegally obtained evidence suppressed. For example, a common and effective defense to a drug charge is to argue that police have violated search and seizure laws. With the right attorney, individuals charged with drug offenses can often have all charges dismissed because of illegal police activity such as an invalid search warrant, a statement taken without police warnings, or the improper search of a person, car, or house.
Drug crimes stem from charges of possession, manufacturing, or trafficking of controlled substances. If the amount of drugs found is large enough, one can be accused of distributing drugs based solely on the quantity possessed.
There are two levels of drug charges—misdemeanor possession charges and felony possession with the intention to deliver narcotics to another. The first is usually punishable by probation or even a complete dismissal of all charges; the second is far more serious depending on the amount of drugs as well as other circumstances such as selling in a school zone or being a repeat offender.
Below are some terms to help you understand the local, state, and federal drug laws:
- A Controlled Substance is a substance classified by State or Federal law as controlled and illegal to sell without a license. Controlled Substances are classified at different levels. Marijuana is listed as under Schedule I Controlled Substance, Cocaine is listed under Schedule II Controlled Substance, and Anabolic Steroids is classified under Schedule III Controlled Substance.
- Distribution means that a person is accused of selling, delivering, or providing a controlled substance to another. It is no defense that money was not exchanged. Thus, distribution does not necessarily mean a sale of drugs.
- Trafficking refers to the illegal sale for distribution of a controlled substance. Trafficking often has more to do with the amount of drugs involved rather than whether the drugs crossed state lines. Trafficking is a term more commonly used in Federal Narcotics charges. If a person is convicted of distribution and trafficking, the penalties and jail time depend on the type and amount of the controlled substance involved, the location where the defendant was apprehended, and the defendant’s criminal history. Smuggling or bringing illegal substances into the country often carries higher Federal penalties.
- Cultivation is the growing or making of narcotics. Cultivation is where the substance is grown, possessed, or produced naturally or manufactured in a lab.
- Possession is the most common drug charge. The government must prove that the accused person knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance, without a valid prescription and in a quantity ample for personal use. A possession charge can be based on an actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance. This means that even if the accused person does not actually have the drugs on their person, a possession charge is still possible. The government does not always have to prove that someone possessed a controlled substance in order to charge them with possession. The theory of constructive possession is often used when illegal drugs are found in a car during a traffic stop and not on the person’s body. Constructive possession means one exercised control over drugs even though they did not actually possess the drugs themselves. This can be true for drugs found in a house or car, but not on one’s body.
Call ThePhillyLawyers today to discuss your case. Your initial consultation is free.