Drug Offenses

Our skilled drug offense lawyers protect your rights
Close-up of man in handcuffs, with gloved hand holding bag of marijuana in the forefront

Drug Defense Lawyers in Pennsylvania

Being charged with a drug crime can have a devastating impact on all aspects of your life. Whether you’re facing simple misdemeanor possession or serious felony charges, it’s crucial to have an experienced drug defense Lawyer you can trust. At Gross McGinley, LLP, our drug defense Lawyers are well-versed in representing clients at the state and federal levels in Pennsylvania. We understand that your freedom, reputation, family, and livelihood may be on the line, and believe you deserve the best defense possible.

Here’s what you need to know about drug charges:

What types of drug crime charges could I be facing?

What are the penalties for drug crimes in Pennsylvania?

What is simple possession of a controlled substance?

What does intent to deliver mean?

Has marijuana been decriminalized in PA?

How can your drug defense lawyers help with my case? 



Understanding Drug Crime Charges in PA

Drug possession laws in Pennsylvania can be challenging to navigate. Typically, if you are in possession of a small amount of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, you may be charged with a misdemeanor.

Possessing, distributing, or manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent to deliver or sell it is usually charged as a felony. In certain circumstances, if you may face federal charges as well. Our drug defense Lawyers help you understand the charges and possible penalties you may face. We advise you of strategies and options for having charges dismissed or reduced, entering a plea, or taking your case to trial.



Penalties for Drug Crimes

Drugs are separated into schedules based on acceptable medical uses and potential for abuse. Possible penalties depend on the specific details of your case. Prosecutors consider several factors when deciding which types of charges to bring in a drug crime case. This may include which schedule the drug falls under, whether you are charged with simple possession or intent to distribute, the quantity you had in your possession, whether you have previous criminal convictions, and other factors.



Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance

In Pennsylvania, simple possession usually is charged when a small or moderate amount of a controlled substance in someone’s possession is assumed to be for personal use. Simple possession is a misdemeanor charge but can still come with serious penalties.

Conviction may result in up to one year in prison and fines of up to $5,000. A second conviction can lead to up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Your driver’s license will be suspended for six months for a first offense, one year for a second offense, and two years for a third offense.



Possession with Intent to Deliver

Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance is a felony charge in Pennsylvania. Penalties range anywhere from two years in prison and a fine of $5,000 for a first offense to seven years in prison and a fine of $50,000 for subsequent offenses. Forging a doctor’s signature or falsifying a prescription to obtain drugs also comes with harsh penalties.

If you are charged with distributing controlled substances to a minor, a firearm is present in the nearby vicinity of the drugs, or the crime occurred in a school zone, penalties tend to be harsher. You could also face federal drug charges in addition to state charges.

Both the legal and personal ramifications of a drug conviction can be life-altering. Some other consequences may include:

  • Child custody and visitation issues
  • Ineligibility or loss of professional licenses or certifications
  • Inability to find work or housing
  • Ineligibility for public benefits and federal financial aid
  • Immigration issues, including deportation
  • Temporary loss of voting or gun ownership rights
  • Financial hardship



Is Marijuana Legal in Pennsylvania?

Although medical use of cannabis is permitted in Pennsylvania, recreational use is still illegal. Simple possession of marijuana has been decriminalized in a few jurisdictions, but you can still face charges like a drug DUI, misuse of medical marijuana, or possession with intent to distribute. Our drug crime lawyers stay abreast of the latest developments in ever-changing federal and state marijuana laws.



Defenses for Drug Crimes

Facing controlled substance charges can make you feel hopeless, but you are not alone. Our drug defense lawyers know how to develop effective defense strategies and work toward the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Some possible defenses in drug crime cases include:

  • Unlawful search and seizure – Citizens are protected from unwarranted search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This means police or other law enforcement officers must have probable cause or a search warrant to look for drugs.
  • Drugs belonged to someone else – People who were unaware of the presence of drugs in a vehicle or home are often arrested. If you can prove that you had no prior knowledge and the drugs belonged to someone else, charges may be dismissed or you may be found not guilty.
  • Entrapment – When authorities pressure someone to commit a crime they have no intention or desire to commit in the first place, entrapment can be a viable defense.
  • Technical defenses – The prosecution must show that the drug in your possession was indeed an illegal substance. Disputing lab results, chain of custody issues, and other technical defenses can often be effective in drug possession cases.

For a defendant to be convicted of a crime, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were knowingly in possession of an illegal substance. Our criminal defense Lawyers understand the nuances of complex Pennsylvania and federal criminal law and know how to use them to their advantage.

Why Choose Our Drug Defense Lawyers?

Our team at Gross McGinley, LLP, has decades of experience successfully defending clients in all types of drug crime cases. Our criminal defense Lawyers have the knowledge and tenacity to provide a vigorous defense and fight for the best possible result in your case. We understand that thorough investigation, gathering relevant evidence, deep knowledge of criminal law, and developing creative defense strategies are crucial in any case.

Our commitment to professionalism and clients-first philosophy are at the heart of everything we do. We’re dedicated to fighting for your rights and offering all the information you need to make informed decisions. We provide the responsive, individualized attention you deserve and act as your staunch advocates to help you navigate any legal challenges you may be facing.

Contact Our Drug Crime Lawyers in Pennsylvania

For more than 40 years, Gross McGinley, LLP, has provided forward-thinking guidance and legal representation to criminal defense clients in Pennsylvania. To schedule a consultation with a drug defense Lawyer, contact us online or call us at 610-820-5450.

Drug Offenses Team

View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Michael J. Blum

Michael J. Blum

Senior Counsel
View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Robert M. Campbell

Robert M. Campbell

Senior Counsel
View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Sara Hart Charette

Sarah Hart Charette

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Julianne Danchak

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Andrea Figueroa

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Eric A. Harakal

View Profile Lehigh Valley criminal defense lawyer Philip Lauer

Philip D. Lauer

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Alexander O. Ward


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