November 2nd, 2023

What to Do if You Are Accused of a Drug Offense in Pennsylvania

Being charged with a drug crime can wreak havoc on your personal and professional life. At Gross McGinley, LLP, our criminal defense lawyers represent clients facing all types of drug possession offenses. Having a drug defense attorney in your corner can ensure your rights are protected and give you peace of mind. A defense lawyer explains what to do if you’re accused of a drug offense in Pennsylvania.

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

One of the most important things you can do if you’re charged with a drug offense is to refrain from speaking to law enforcement, prosecutors, or anyone else without a defense lawyer present. Although you may think it’s a good idea to tell your side of the story, the things you say can be twisted and used against you later. If you are arrested or taken in by law enforcement, ask for a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Keep a Low Profile

Speaking to loved ones about what happened is not advisable either. They could be called to testify under oath as witnesses. It’s also vital to remember that jail calls are recorded and anything you say may be heard by others. Do not mention anything about your case on social media. Public statements can complicate your defense and put your freedom in jeopardy. If you need to speak to anyone about your case, talk to your defense attorney.

Contact a Drug Defense Attorney

If you believe you’re under investigation or you have already been charged and arrested, it’s crucial to seek the counsel of a drug defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you’ve been charged with simple possession of a controlled substance or a crime like drug trafficking, you want an experienced defense lawyer who has a record of success handling cases like yours in Pennsylvania courts. A drug crime attorney can start building a defense by conducting a thorough investigation of your case, gathering evidence, identifying witnesses who may testify on your behalf, and filing motions to exclude evidence that may be compromised or unlawfully obtained.

Preserve Evidence

If there is any evidence you believe supports your innocence, make sure to let your drug crime lawyer know. Some important evidence that could back up your case includes surveillance footage, witness statements, photos, and any other documentation or information that could boost your defense. Your drug possession attorney will determine whether any of this evidence could be used in your defense.

Know Your Rights

In the United States, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Defendants are not required to testify or prove their innocence; the burden of proof lies with prosecutors in criminal cases.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution also protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. You have the right to refuse searches of your person, belongings, or property without a warrant. If you believe police or other law enforcement agencies violated your rights, tell your criminal defense attorney. Any evidence obtained in an unlawful search and seizure may be excluded and could lead to charges being reduced or dismissed.

Understand the Charges Against You

Pennsylvania courts take drug crimes very seriously. Depending on the circumstances, you may face felony or misdemeanor charges. The level of the charge depends on the type of drug, the amount in your possession, whether you intended to distribute it, where the alleged crime occurred, and other factors. A prior criminal record can also have an impact on the charges. Your drug defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you. They will advise you of possible options and outcomes of taking a plea deal or going to trial.

Some drug crimes are charged on both state and federal levels. For example, you could be charged with possession with intent to deliver in Pennsylvania but could also face federal charges if it is alleged that drug crimes took place across state lines. In this case, it’s important to find a federal criminal defense lawyer who understands the law and knows how federal prosecutors and courts operate.

Regardless of which type of drug possession you’ve been charged with, having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side ensures your rights are protected and gives you the best chance for a positive outcome.

Contact a Drug Defense Attorney in Pennsylvania

If you’re facing drug possession charges in Pennsylvania or federal court, our dedicated team at Gross McGinley, LLP, can help. For more than 40 years, we’ve served criminal defense clients in Pennsylvania with compassion, integrity, and respect. We provide a wide range of legal services, including criminal defense, family law, business law, litigation, estate planning, business and employment law, real estate, and more.

To schedule a consultation with a drug defense lawyer, contact us or call 610-820-5450

The content found in this resource is for informational reference use only and is not considered legal advice. Laws at all levels of government change frequently and the information found here may be or become outdated. It is recommended to consult your attorney for the most up-to-date information regarding current laws and legal matters.