As criminal and DUI lawyers that serve Montgomery County, PA, Philadelphia, and, of course, Bucks County, you can count on us to provide a comprehensive and aggressive criminal defense strategy for you or your loved one.
If you or someone you know have recently received a drug dealing or drug sales charge, and are wondering what to expect, here is a brief overview of what to expect.
When Can You Be Charged With a Drug Crime in PA?
Drug sales charges or drug dealing charges are criminal charges that you will receive for the intended or actual sale of an illegal controlled substance such as meth, heroin, cocaine, or marijuana. What typically happens if you receive a drug dealing or drug sales charge will depend on your history and where you live.
Penalties Of a Drug Sales or Dealing Conviction
Most of the time, the charges/penalties you receive will be dependent upon the type of drug you attempted to sell, the amount sold (if any), and if you have any previous drug charges.
If you were caught with drugs but did not intend to sell them, you could also be charged if it is determined you have too much of an illegal substance in your possession.
The type of punishment you receive for the offense will be different depending on where you live. Next, if you were caught selling, the punishment you receive will be dependent on how much of the drug was found on you.
In most cases, if you were caught in the middle of selling/dealing the drug, you will be charged with a felony. However, if you were caught with the drugs and did not have the intention to sell, you will be charged with a misdemeanor.
Collateral Consequences Of Pennsylvania Drug Crime Convictions
It is not only the criminal sentence for dealing drugs you must worry about when you are found guilty at trial. The impact a conviction will have on your life is undeniable. Once you are released from jail or prison, with a criminal conviction on your record, your entire future may be uncertain. The collateral consequences of a drug crime conviction are sure to haunt you for the foreseeable future.
With a drug conviction on your record, you could expect your opportunities to be limited. If you are applying for jobs, up for a promotion, looking for housing or a line of credit, or have other chances to further your career and life that are dependent on a background check, you may be passed over for these opportunities due to your conviction.
However, that is not all. You may face issues with immigration, including the risk of deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen. You might also find yourself dealing with child visitation and custody issues that impact your ability to take care of and spend quality time with your children. You will no longer be eligible for SNAP, TANF, or other government assistance programs, nor will you be eligible for federal student loans.
Your reputation, both personally and professionally, could also be destroyed. If you are convicted of dealing drugs, you will likely lose your professional license or certification, which may make it impossible for you to continue in your career field. Defending yourself is crucial if you hope to avoid these devastating consequences.
Consider Your Defense Options
If you are accused of stealing or selling drugs, it is crucial to consider your defense options. In some instances, it may be in your best interest to work out a plea agreement or enter a pretrial diversion program. Drug diversion programs are often available to first-time, non-violent offenders. However, the specific details of your case will determine whether you are eligible.
If you do not qualify for pretrial diversion or the prosecutor is unwilling to work out a plea bargain, you may need to prepare to defend yourself at trial. Some potential defenses that are often used to challenge drug-selling charges include:
- Lack of probable cause
- The drugs are for personal use
- Having a valid prescription
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Constitutional rights violations
- Prosecutorial or police misconduct
- Improper handling of evidence
- Mistakes in the analysis of the alleged drugs
Pennsylvania Drug Sale or Dealing FAQ
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding drug dealing and sale charges in Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions we do not cover here, make sure to contact our criminal defense law firm to discuss the specific details of your case.
When does drug dealing become a federal crime in PA?
Drug dealing generally becomes a federal crime when an individual is accused of dealing drugs across state borders or there are large amounts of drugs involved. If there are multiple parties moving drugs, charges may apply at the federal level due to drug conspiracy. If you are prosecuted in federal court, you can expect harsher penalties and, if convicted, incarceration at a federal prison facility.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
Those charged with a felony are individuals who have committed a serious crime. Felony crimes also come with jail time and fines to pay. Misdemeanors are less severe, and those usually charged have to pay fines as opposed to spending time in jail.
There is no doubt about it—the punishment you may receive for dealing/selling drugs will be severe. But, the type of punishment you receive will also reflect the amount of drugs you had on you at the time of your arrest.
What if I am caught selling drugs in a different state other than my own?
As mentioned previously, every state has its own set of drug sales laws. If you are convicted in a state besides your own, you will be subject to that state’s laws. Also, keep in mind that if you are caught selling in Washington D.C., a military base, or other federal land, you will be charged by the federal law system.
Meet With a Drug Crimes Attorney in Pennsylvania for Help Today
If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug dealing or drug sales charge, consulting with a criminal defense attorney at Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC is a must.
Being charged with selling drugs is not like getting a speeding ticket. Having a felony or misdemeanor on your record due to a drug-related crime can be more detrimental than you think. To schedule a consultation with one of our criminal attorneys regarding your case in Montgomery County, PA, Philadelphia, or Bucks County, please call or complete our quick contact form today.