Everyday in the state of Pennsylvania, people are arrested for possession of an illegal substance. It is essential that anyone charged with this crime to know the important factors that go into charging and convicting someone of this crime.
How can Someone be Convicted of Drug Possession?
In Pennsylvania, it is against the law to possess illegal substances such as, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and other drugs. An individual charged with possession of drugs will be found guilty of this crime if he/she knowingly and intentionally possessed an illegal substance and the prosecutor can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession
Actual Possession– occurs when an individual knowingly has direct control of the illegal substance (it is in their pocket, wallet, on their person etc.).
Constructive Possession– occurs when an individual can exert dominion or control over the illegal substance even though it is not located on their person. Generally this form of possession occurs when the police locate the narcotic in your car, house, apartment, or any other location where you have the ability to control it.
Penalties and Sentences for Drug Possession
Consequences for possession of narcotics can vary depending on the type and amount of drugs the individual is found to possess. Pennsylvania law states that possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana will be classified as an ungraded misdemeanor which carries the potential of 30 days in prison and/or a fine up $500.
Any other illegal narcotics, the individual can potentially be charged with a felony which could carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. Again, it is important to stress that each sentence will depend upon the type of narcotic, the amount in question, and whether or not it was for personal use or for selling.
Charged with Possession? Get the Help You Need!
If you or someone you know has been charged drug possession, The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo is ready to help you through this process. We understand that drug charges can often be difficult for all individuals involved and that is why we will work with you every step of the way in achieving the best outcome possible.