Drug Crimes in Pennsylvania: What is Drug Trafficking?
The only thing that separates a simple possession charge from a drug trafficking charge is the amount of drugs seized from your home, vehicle or person. If you possess more of a drug than you could reasonably use yourself, it is assumed that you probably will sell the drug to dealers who will distribute them to users. If you are convicted of drug trafficking, you will likely face a mandatory minimum jail sentence and fines that may bankrupt you. You need a Philadelphia drug trafficking defense attorney to help you defend your rights and protect your interests.
The war on drugs has led to increasingly harsher penalties for individuals convicted of trafficking in illegal substances. In Pennsylvania alone, individuals convicted for drug trafficking under 18 Pa. C.S. §7508 are likely to face serious penalties such as:
- Mandatory minimum jail sentences. A defendant who is convicted of drug trafficking may be required to serve a certain number of years in jail, without the possibility of parole. You will not be eligible for early release or diversionary programs despite the overcrowding of Pennsylvania’s prisons.
- Forfeiture of ill-gotten gains. Judges are authorized to seize assets that are presumed to be profits from your criminal activities when you are convicted of a drug trafficking crime. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your personal assets may be frozen while your case proceeds toward trial.
- Sentence enhancements for prior convictions. If you have been previously convicted of a crime, you could face a heightened sentence due to your criminal record and apparent recidivism. You need a lawyer to help you if this is your second or third offense.
Your Philadelphia drug trafficking defense attorneys may be able to help if you are being investigated as a participant in a larger marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription drug or controlled substance conspiracy. Your case may not end with the dismissal of state charges. Federal charges may be filed against you if you are suspected to be engaged in an illegal drug trade, particularly if you are suspected of transporting illegal substances across state lines. You could be charged for separate crimes if you are found to be involved in a larger criminal conspiracy.
For more information about drug trafficking charges in Pennsylvania, contact the Law Offices of David Jay Glassman in Philadelphia.