There are 2 types of drug charges, misdemeanors and felonies. A conviction for either will result in a criminal record. A person charged with a misdemeanor drug charge and has no prior criminal record is often eligible for a diversion program consisting of probation and no incarceration. A person convicted of a felony drug charge will usually face incarceration.
Stroudsburg and Scranton drug crimes lawyer Robert J. Munley has represented hundreds of clients with misdemeanor and felony drug charges over the last 23 years. If you’re charged with a drug crime, call Atty. Munley for a free, no obligation review of your case.Misdemeanor Drug Charges
Possession of a Controlled Substance, 35 Pa.C.S.A. 780-113(a)(16) is when a person is found to be in possession or control of a controlled substance like cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, or at least 30 grams of marijuana. It’s possible a person can be found to be in possession of a controlled substance even if the drug is not found in their actual possession but is found in their vehicle, a backpack, their room, or found to be within their “control.”
Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana, 35 Pa.C.S.A. 780-113(a)(31) is possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana. Although still a misdemeanor, the penalty for this charge is typically less than for Possession of a Controlled Substance. The maximum penalty is 30 days in jail and a $500.00 fine but people seldom go to jail for this charge.
Possession of Paraphernalia, 35 Pa.C.S.A. 780-113(a)(32) is possession of drug paraphernalia with the purpose of ingesting a drug into your body. Examples of paraphernalia are pipes, syringes, cigarette papers, etc.Resolution of Misdemeanor Drug Charges
ARD. A conviction of a misdemeanor drug charge results in a criminal record. For this reason, Atty. Munley recommends that his clients with no criminal record, enter into the ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program. With ARD, after completion of probation which often consists of community service, no drug or alcohol use, and payment of court costs, charges are dismissed. With ARD there is no conviction and the criminal record is expunged upon completion of the program’s requirements. ARD (in most cases) is a first offender program.Section 17
Sct. 17 is a program similar to ARD. It’s for people charged with a misdemeanor, with no prior record or an ARD, who have a documented issue with drugs. The program involves pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge, successful completion of treatment for the drug issue, and completion of a probation sentence. All charges are dismissed and are eligible for expungement upon completion of all program requirements.Felony Drug Charges
Possession With Intent to Deliver, 35 Pa.C.S.A. 780-113(a)(30) is when a person is in possession or control of controlled substances (like heroin, cocaine, marijuana, etc.) and plans to sell or deliver the controlled substance to another at some point in the future. The controlled substance does not have to be found on the actual person but can be within the person’s control. Examples, the drugs can be in the person’s home or vehicle even if the person is not present.
Delivery of a Controlled Substance, 35 Pa.C.S.A. 780-113(a)(30) is similar to Possession With Intent to Deliver. The difference is that with Delivery of a Controlled Substance, the drug(s) are actually delivered or transferred to another person. Actual money does not have to be exchanged for there to be Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
The penalties for Possession With Intent to Deliver and Deliver of a Controlled Substance are exactly the same if they involve the same quantity and type of controlled substance.Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 903
A Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance is when 2 or more people agree to deliver or sell a controlled substance. Each member of the conspiracy must play some part, however minor. However, just knowledge of the plan to deliver or sell a controlled substance, with no involvement is not Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance. Example: Just knowing that your boyfriend sells drugs doesn’t make you part of a conspiracy. However, if you help him to deliver drugs, even in the tiniest way, you’re part of the Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance.Defending Felony Drug Charges
The Commonwealth must prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt in all cases that a person is guilty of a felony drug charge. Often felony drug cases are based on circumstantial evidence and sketchy confidential informants. Sometimes this evidence is questionable, and a jury trial may be in the client’s best interest. Sometimes if there‘s questionable evidence, reduced charges and sentences may be negotiated with the prosecutor.
If you are charges with either a misdemeanor or felony drug charge, contact Stroudsburg and Scranton drug crimes attorney Robert J. Munley for a free, no obligation review of your case. Atty. Munley will listen to the facts of your case and present you with realistic options.