College is often the first taste of freedom that teenagers get. With this freedom, however, comes the opportunity to make mistakes. Some of these mistakes may be more consequential than others. One mistake that can cost dearly is being caught with illegal drugs.
The punishments for drug charges can vary based on the details of the crime. Pennsylvania can charge students over the age of 18 as an adult, meaning they may feel the consequences of these crimes for a long time.
What charges can a student face?
Drug charges range in severity:
- Possession: A student has an illegal drug
- Possession with intent: The student has a drug and intends to use it
- Drug trafficking: The student possesses enough drugs to sell
- Sale of a controlled substance: The student has given away, bartered, traded or distributed a drug
- Drug manufacturing: The student has created illegal drugs
What are typical penalties for drug charges?
For a first-time offender charged with possession, penalties may be up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000; for crimes classified as felonies, jail time can be up to 15 years and a fine can be as high as $250,000.
Are there ways to defend against drug charges?
Criminal defenses against drug charges include illegal search, stop or detention; invalid warrants; lack of possession. These defenses and others may help you stay out of jail.
Drug charges are serious crimes that no student should take lightly. Be prepared to defend yourself vigorously in court so that you do not suffer years of repercussions for one mistake.