Drug Trafficking and Drug Possession Charges in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Drug Possession Attorney

Drug charges in Pennsylvania range from manufacturing, possession, delivering, to possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. In the vast majority of cases, classification of illegal drugs in Pennsylvania follows federal classifications according to five different schedules of substances. In general, these classifications are as follows:

Schedule I: Controlled substances that pose a high risk for abuse and have very little, if any, accepted medical use. Examples of Schedule I drugs are heroin, morphine, marijuana, cocaine, and LSD.

Schedule II: Drugs that have a legitimate medical purpose but are highly addictive and prone to abuse. Examples of Schedule II drugs are opium extracts, cocaine, methadone, PCP, and methamphetamine.

Schedule III: Drugs that have an established and accepted medical use pose a moderate risk of addiction, but are not prone to abuse to the same degree as Schedule II drugs. Examples of Schedule III drugs include codeine, anabolic steroids, benzphetamine, and pentobarbital.

Schedule IV: Drugs used for medical purposes but which are not considered addictive or subject to as much abuse as Schedule III drugs. Examples of Schedule III drugs include prescription medications such as Ativan, Valium, or Xanax.

Schedule V: Over-the-counter drugs are typically classified as Schedule V drugs. They pose little risk for dependency or abuse.

Drug Schedules, Trafficking, and Penalties in Pennsylvania

Since Pennsylvania follows the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in how drugs are classified, penalties for serious drug offenses often adheres to federal sentencing guidelines. As a result, penalties for Possession with the intent to Deliver or Manufacture a Controlled Substance are as follows:

Schedule I or II drugs: A fine of up to $250,000 and up to 15 years in prison

Schedule I, II, or III drugs: A fine of up to $15,000 and up to 5 years in prison

Schedule IV drug: A fine of up to $10,000 and up to 3 years in prison

Schedule V drug: A fine of up to $1,000 and up to 1 year in prison

In cases where illegal drugs are sold within a school zone or are sold to a minor or person under 21 years of age, penalties may double or triple.

Simple Possession or Possession with the Intent to Deliver?

Due to the “war on drugs” and the CSA, conviction on a Possession with Intent to Deliver charge is a serious felony. Depending on the amount and kind of drugs found on you, the prosecutor may charge you with a more serious drug crime when a simple possession charge is more appropriate. Here, a number of legal issues must be considered – did the police have reasonable suspicion to pull you over; did they have probable cause to search you; is there a good reason to question whether the drugs belong to you; is there any reliable proof to establish the claim that you intended to sell the drugs in question?

Contact Harrisburg Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys

If you’ve been arrested on a drug charge, contact Harrisburg drug crimes defense attorneys at Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP. We can evaluate your case and discuss the options available to you during a confidential consultation protected by the attorney-client privilege – even if you don’t decide to hire us to represent you. Call today and learn how we can help you –

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