Pittsburgh Drug Trafficking Lawyer

The mere possession of any controlled substance is a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania. Defendants charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intention of distributing or selling the drug will face much more serious felony charges.

The police do not have to catch you in the act of selling drugs to charge you with a felony drug crime. They often rely on circumstantial evidence, including the amount of drugs found in your possession or the presence of items commonly related to drug sales, including large amounts of cash, scales, stamp bags, or other packaging.

Mandatory Minimums

The sale of controlled substance is a serious offense with extremely harsh penalties. The severity of the punishment depends on a number of factors, including the types of drugs involved, the amount by weight, and a defendant's criminal history. In some cases, Defendants face mandatory minimum sentences, which require the judge to sentence them to mandatory prison time regardless of their past criminal history. For example, drug delivery resulting in death will result in five years of incarceration. Possessing drugs with intent to deliver in a school zone will result in three years of incarceration. Possession of large quantities of any particular drug will also result in mandatory minimum sentences, as the following tables illustrate:

Marijuana:

Weight

Mandatory Minimum Sentence - First Conviction

Minimum Mandatory Sentence - Subsequent Conviction

2 lbs. to < 10 lbs

or

10 to 20 live plants

1 year

2 years

10 lbs. to < 50 lbs.

or

21 to 51 live plants

3 years

4 years

More than 50 lbs. or more than 50 plants

5 years

5 years

Heroin

Weight

Mandatory Minimum Sentence - First Conviction

Mandatory Minimum Sentence - Subsequent Conviction

1 gram to < 5 grams

2 years

3 years

5 grams to < 50 grams

3 years

5 years

50 grams or more

5 years

7 years

Cocaine

Weight

Mandatory Minimum Sentence - First Conviction

Mandatory Minimum Sentence - Subsequent Conviction

2 grams to < 10 grams

1 year

3 years

10 grams < 100 grams

3 years

5 years

100 grams or more

4 years

7 years

Methamphetamine / Phencyclidine

Weight

Mandatory Minimum Sentence - First Conviction

Mandatory Minimum Sentence - Subsequent Conviction

5 grams to < 10 grams

3 years

5 years

10 grams to < 100 grams

4 years

7 years

100 grams or more

5 years

8 years

Contact an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with possession with intent to deliver or drug trafficking in western Pennsylvania, contact one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates today.  With offices located in downtown Pittsburgh, Cranberry Township and Southepointe (Canonsburg), our experienced Pennsylvania defense lawyers are available to meet at the location of your choice.  Contact us today at 412-281-9906 or 1-855-827-4529 (1-855-VARI-LAW).