Have You Been Arrested for a Drug Crime?
At Eddy DeLuca Gravina & Townsend, our criminal defense lawyers provide successful and aggressive defense representation for a wide range of drug related charges, including: simple possession to death as a result of drug delivery. Our reputation for success is unmatched.
All drug crimes, simple possession of marijuana to drug delivery and trafficking charges, carry the potential of significant criminal penalties, including jail and license suspensions. Our attorneys will examine every aspect of your case to determine if your constitutional rights were violated and if the evidence is admissible. You need a strong defense team if you have been charged with a drug crime in state or federal court.
If you have been approached by law enforcement, are facing drug-related charges or you are the target of an investigation, it is important to contact us today. The government most likely has been building its case for an extended period of time.
Click for the Quick Facts for Drug Charges
A conspiracy charge in federal court is the most unfair and confusing charge you may ever face. At trial, the jury instruction that is read to the jury is written in a way that almost guarantees a conviction for conspiracy if you don’t have the right legal representation. A defendant doesn’t even have to know any of the other so-called conspirators to be charged with this crime. It is often the case that there is simply a buyer-seller agreement, but because the defendant is a certain race and/or lives in the same neighborhood, he/she will be brought in under a general conspiracy charge. This allows the government to charge you with the entire weight of the controlled substance(s) in the conspiracy, thereby enhancing the penalties significantly.
DELIVERY OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
Possession with the Intent to Deliver is simply an exchange of a controlled substance, like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin, from one person to another. A drug delivery is always graded as a felony. Penalties will depend on the type of drug, the weight or amount of the drug, and the person’s prior criminal convictions.
POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
Possession With Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance is when a person possesses a controlled substance or drug and it’s that person’s intent to deliver that controlled substance to another. It is enough that the person is in possession of the drugs and that the evidence indicates that the person intends to exchange or sell the controlled substance. The charge of Possession With Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance is always graded as a Felony. The penalty will depend on the type of drug, the weight or amount of the drug and the person’s prior criminal convictions.
DELIVERY OR INTENT TO DELIVER IN A SCHOOL ZONE
Possession With The Intent To Deliver drugs within a school zone, IF CONVICTED, requires mandatory minimum sentence of 2 to 4 years incarceration. A school zone is any area within 1000 feet of a school or university or 250 feet of a recreation center or playground. In Pittsburgh , almost every street in the city is located within a school zone. It is important for you that your defense attorney to take the necessary steps to ensure that a “school zone” enhancement is not applicable.
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
If a person is knowingly in possession of a controlled substance or drug, he/she may be guilty of Possession. Possession of a Controlled Substance.
If a person is in possession of paraphernalia commonly used to assist in the use or consumption of drugs, such as a pipe, needle, baggies, scale, cigarette rolling papers, etc., the person may be found guilty of possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia.
CRIMINAL USE OF A COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
Criminal Use of a Communications facility has become one of the Commonwealth’s favorite charges. That’s because it is graded as a felony and almost all drug crimes deal with a communication device such as a cellphone or computer.
LOSS OF LICENSE FOR CONVICTION OF DRUG OFFENSE
There is an automatic loss of your Pennsylvania driver’s license upon a conviction for Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. There is no loss of license for a conviction for Possession of Paraphernalia. The license suspension is 6 months for the first conviction, 1 year for the second conviction, and 2 years for a third and any subsequent conviction.
Federal vs. Pennsylvania Drug Laws
State and federal laws are very similar in what activity is prohibited. Both prohibit the illegal possessing, distributing, manufacturing, and dispensing of any narcotics. Federal authorities are more likely to prosecute larger trafficking conspiracies and large-scale operations.
Drug Schedules in Pennsylvania
Attorney Steven Townsend