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Top-Rated Philadelphia Defense Attorney Fights Fentanyl Charges

Determined counsel for clients caught up in opioid prosecutions

The nationwide epidemic of drug overdoses and deaths caused by opioid drugs has hit home in Pennsylvania. Overdose deaths in Pennsylvania rose 16.4 percent in 2020 and another 6 percent in 2021, when there were 5,438 reported overdose deaths. In this state as elsewhere in the country, the main opioid drug driving overdose fatalities is fentanyl.

Faced with this ongoing crisis, law enforcement is taking a harsh stance. If you are charged with unlawful possession of fentanyl, you can expect a rigorous prosecution aimed at imposing the maximum sentence available. That means you need the best representation available. The Law Offices of David Jay Glassman in Philadelphia has a proven record of success in serious criminal matters, including drug crime defense. We are determined to protect your rights and fight for the best outcome in your case.

Penalties for unlawful fentanyl possession in Pennsylvania

Under both state and federal law, fentanyl is a Schedule II opiate. This means the drug has some legitimate medical purpose but entails huge risks, so it has to be strictly regulated. What’s more, many fentanyl derivatives are Schedule I drugs, which means they have no legitimate purpose. The penalties for even simple possession of Schedule I and II drugs can be heavy, even though it is a misdemeanor under state law.

A first conviction could mean:

  • Up to a year in jail
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • A six-month minimum driver’s license suspension

In deciding your sentence, the court will consider aggravating and mitigating factors, such as your:

  • Prior criminal history
  • Family background
  • Employment or educational situation
  • Contributions to society, such as military service

Despite the strictness of the law, there are defenses to possession charges. Depending on the circumstances, you might claim that:

  • You have a license to be in possession of the drugs.
  • You have a valid prescription.
  • You had a good-faith belief that the drugs were legal.
  • You were not in knowing possession or did not exercise control over the drugs.

It might also be possible to exclude drug evidence if it was obtained through an illegal police search.

Penalties for distributing fentanyl drugs in Pennsylvania

Authorities do not have to catch you in the act of selling to charge you with drug trafficking. They can base distribution charges on how much of the drug you have on you. An amount that seems too large for personal use can support a charge of possession with intent to distribute. The sale or distribution of fentanyl is a felony in Pennsylvania, which means a conviction could result in these penalties:

  • Up to 15 years in state prison
  • Fines of up to $250,000

The court considers all factors that could result in more lenient or harsher sentencing. This is why, even if the facts are against you, you need a skilled and determined criminal defense lawyer arguing your case. We draw on more than 40 years of criminal justice experience to formulate the best strategy for your defense. We challenge every aspect of the state’s case against you so that we can deliver the best results possible.

Contact a top-rated Philadelphia defense attorney to fight fentanyl charges

The Law Offices of David Jay Glassman in Philadelphia represents clients accused of fentanyl possession and distribution. To arrange for a consultation with an experienced attorney, call 215-563-7100 or contact us online.