People who sell or attempt to sell controlled substances in Pennsylvania may be charged with a crime. In most cases, possession with intent to distribute charges are separate from drug trafficking charges. If a person is charged with drug trafficking, it means that authorities believe that a person made, transported or sold substances such as marijuana or heroin. It is also important to note that those who are considered to be in possession of a drug without intent to distribute will generally be charged with a misdemeanor.
The exact penalties depend on the type of drug a person possesses or is trying to sell. It will also be based on the amount of a substance that a person has or is trying to sell. Those who have a prior criminal history may face harsher penalties than those who lack such a history.
Individuals who are found in possession of a firearm and a controlled substance may face additional penalties. Finally, the exact penalties a person might face may depend on whether the charge is considered a state or federal crime. The federal government may impose mandatory minimum penalties in cases involving drug deals in close proximity to a school or that involve a person under the age of 21. Selling drugs to a pregnant woman may also result in a mandatory minimum sentence.
A person who is facing drug charges may want to hire an attorney to help with his or her case. An attorney may be able to get evidence suppressed by asserting that it was obtained illegally. Legal counsel may also assert that a person didn’t know that he or she was in possession of a controlled substance in an effort to obtain an acquittal or a favorable plea deal.