Drug Possession Penalties in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA Drug Crimes Attorney

Pennsylvania has a two – tiered sentencing system in drug crime cases. In general, there is a minimum and maximum penalty associated with different kinds of drug crimes where the maximum penalty is at least twice as great as the minimum sentence. Sentencing in drug crime cases also depends on a number of relevant factors – your criminal record, the kind and amount of drugs involved, whether weapons and violence were used, and whether or not you’re on probation. While not all drug crimes have mandatory minimum sentences, failure to understand sentencing guidelines can result in a longer anticipated prison sentence in plea bargain arrangements.

Drug Possession Prison Sentences in Pennsylvania

While each case is different, if convicted for a first time drug crime in Pennsylvania, you face the following kinds of penalties:

Marijuana:

• 2 pounds to less than 10 pounds – 1 year in prison
• 10 pounds to less than 50 pounds – 3 years in prison
• 50 pounds or more – 5 years in prison

Cocaine:

• 2 grams to less than 10 grams – 1 year in prison
• 10 grams to less than 100 grams – 3 years in prison
• 100 grams or more – 4 years in prison

Heroin:

• 1 gram to less than 5 grams – 2 years in prison
• 5 grams to less than 50 grams – 3 years in prison
• 50 grams or more – 5 years in prison

Schedule I or II Narcotics:

• 2 grams to less than 10 grams – 2 years in prison
• 10 grams to less than 100 grams – 3 years in prison
• 100 grams or more – 5 years in prison

Methamphetamine:

• 5 grams to less than 10 grams – 3 years in prison
• 10 grams to less than 100 grams – 4 years in prison
• 100 grams or more – 5 years in prison

Amphetamine:

• 5 grams or more – 2 ½ years in prison

Methaqualone:

• 50 tablets to less than 200 – 1 year in prison
• 25 grams to less than 100 grams – 1 year in prison
• 200 tablets or more – 2 ½ years in prison
• 100 grams or more – 2 ½ years in prison

In almost every instance involving a second conviction, prison time is increased by 1 to 3 years, depending on the drug. Likewise, if a defendant was in possession of a firearm at the time of his arrest, he could face a five – year mandatory minimum, depending on the specifics of the case.

Marijuana Possession Penalties in Pennsylvania

Most marijuana possession charges are a result of a car stop associated with suspected drunk driving or a traffic offense. Consequently, the amount of marijuana found is often less than a pound. However, 30 grams or less of marijuana can result in a 30-day jail sentence and a $500 fine while more than 30 grams can carry a jail sentence of 1 year and a fine up to $5,000. Likewise, the possession or sale of drug paraphernalia – a bong or marijuana pipe – can result in a 1 year jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500; in cases involving a minor, penalties double.

Contact Harrisburg Drug Offenses Attorneys at Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP

If you’ve been arrested on drug charges – even if it’s a small amount of marijuana – contact Harrisburg drug possession lawyers at Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP today. If convicted, you could face time in jail, an expensive fine, and a permanent criminal record. Call today to learn how we can help you.

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