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Montgomery County Intent to Distribute Lawyer

In Pennsylvania, you can be arrested for possessing any type of illegal drug, including prescription drugs — the charge would be the possession of a controlled substance. If, however, the quantity of the drug meets a certain statutory threshold, the officer may think you possess the drugs with the intent to distribute them. This offense is Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID), and it includes the manufacture, delivery, or possession of illegal drugs with the intent to distribute. If you’re facing this charge, you need a competent Montgomery County intent to distribute lawyer in your corner. Contact Cohen & Patel today.

Intent to Distribute Lawyer | Here to Protect Your Rights

A conviction for an intent to distribute charge results in a sentence much harsher than a conviction of simple possession. Simple possession involves the personal use of an illegal drug while PWID refers to possession to make the drug and/or to distribute it to other persons by selling it, sharing it, giving it away, or any other means of distribution. A PWID conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence, too — that means if convicted, the judge must in the least order the minimum required by law. In other words, you aren’t going to get out of jail time.

To protect yourself, you need an experienced Pottstown criminal defense lawyer to advocate for your rights and freedom. Our firm knows the law and the courts. Our knowledge is wide and varied and can be used to help defend you. Speak with an intent to distribute lawyer from our firm today so we can get started working on your case.

What Is the Pennsylvania Crime of Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID)?

A charge of possession with intent to deliver simply means the police officer is accusing you of selling or distributing drugs. Common examples of when the charge is applied include situations where:

  • You were at a party a shared a drug;
  • You had on your person or within your control a quantity considered by law to be more than for merely personal use;
  • You were allegedly seen dealing a drug on a street corner.

Some of you, you may have been under investigation for some time and surveilled by the police. For others of you, it may have just been unfortunate, random timing. In either situation, a PWID charge is serious because it is a felony, which means prison time, and steep fines, among other penalties. The type of drug in your possession matters greatly to the extent of the penalties.

In Pennsylvania, drugs are classified according to the Federal drug schedule and are delineated in The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act. There are five schedules. Schedule I drugs are the most heavily controlled because they are deemed to be the most addictive with no medicinal value. On the opposite end, Schedule V drugs are the least controlled for the very opposite reasons – they are not addictive and have medicinal value. Pennsylvania’s sentencing is in part based on which drug you are found with and how that drug is classified.

Below are examples of what types of controlled substances are found under each schedule.

Schedule I

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Mushrooms
  • LSD
  • Peyote

Schedule II

  • Cocaine
  • Ritalin
  • Opium
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Pure Codeine
  • Pure Hydrocodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Methamphetamine
  • PCP
  • Some Barbiturates

Schedule III

  • Ketamine
  • Codeine
  • Vicodin
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Marinol

Schedule IV

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Darvon
  • Darvocet

Schedule V

  • Cough suppressants with codeine
  • Anti-diarrheal treatments

How Can a Drug Crimes Attorney Defend a Possession with Intent to Deliver Charge in Pennsylvania?

It doesn’t matter if you are innocent or guilty, you should always plead not guilty at your arraignment. To do otherwise eliminates your chance of defending yourself and securing your freedom. At David J. Cohen Law Firm, LLC, we understand if you are feeling nervous or scared, especially if this is your first drug offense. We take a comprehensive approach to your case and will look at all the angles to develop a working defense that will challenge the prosecutor’s case against you.

Ways we can challenge the State’s case include things like:

  • Proving you did not intend or know you were in possession of an illegal substance — the State must prove you knowingly and intentionally had control over the illegal drugs;
  • Proving you were not in actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance — the prosecutor must prove possession in order for you to be found guilty of this offense;
  • Proving you did not know the drugs were illegal — another element of PWID that must be proven is that:
    • you knew the drugs were illegal,
    • you knew the drugs were present, and
    • you intended to use or control them;

Challenging the search and seizure of your person and your property — it is unlawful in most cases for the police to search you or your possessions or property without a warrant, and if they do, then we can file a motion to suppress any evidence obtained from that unlawful search and seizure.

What Happens if Convicted of PWID in Montgomery County, PA?

If you are convicted of possession with intent to deliver in Pennsylvania, then the sentence will depend on several factors, including but not limited to:

  • the amount of drugs in your possession;
  • the type of drug in your possession and the schedule to which it belongs; and
  • any prior drug crime convictions.

There is any number of combinations of circumstances that will result in any number of sentences. Depending on the above three factors, longer mandatory minimum sentences may apply. Mandatory minimum incarceration sentences are controlled by 18 Pa. C.S. § 7508, and below, we provide examples of what minimum sentences may look like for various common drugs, quantity, and prior convictions.

Marijuana

  • 2 to <10 lbs or 10 to 20 live plants: (first offense) 1 year of incarceration, (second offense) 2 years of incarceration
  • 10 to <50 lbs or 21 to 50 live plants: (first offense) 3 years of incarceration, (second offense) 4 years of incarceration
  • >50 lbs or >50 live plants: (first or second offense) 5 years of incarceration

Heroin

  • 1 to <5 grams: (first offense) 2 years of incarceration, (second offense) 3 years of incarceration
  • 5 to <50 grams: (first offense) 3 years of incarceration, (second offense) 5 years of incarceration
  • >50 grams: (first offense) 5 years of incarceration, (second offense) 7 years of incarceration

Schedule I or II Narcotics

  • 2 to <10 grams: (first offense) 2 years of incarceration, (second offense) 3 years of incarceration
  • 10 to < 100 grams: (first offense) 3 years of incarceration, (second offense) 5 years of incarceration
  • >100 grams: (first offense) 5 years of incarceration, (second offense) 7 years of incarceration

Cocaine

  • 2 to <10 grams: (first offense) 1 year of incarceration, (second offense) 3 years of incarceration
  • 10 to < 100 grams: (first offense) 3 years of incarceration, (second offense) 5 years of incarceration
  • >100 grams: (first offense) 4 years of incarceration, (second offense) 7 years of incarceration

Methamphetamine 

  • 5 to <10 grams: (first offense) 3 years of incarceration, (second offense) 5 years of incarceration
  • 10 to <100 grams: (first offense) 4 years of incarceration, (second offense) 7 years of incarceration
  • >100 grams: (first offense) 5 years of incarceration, (second offense) 8 years of incarceration

Apart from incarceration, the State will also impose steep fines in accordance with 18 Pa. C.S. § 7508 and may suspend your driver’s license and/or seize property and assets. It is important to note that if convicted, penalties imposed by the court are only part of your problems. You will also likely face collateral consequences, which include things like:

  • Becoming ineligible for federal student loans;
  • Having difficulty finding a job;
  • Having difficulty securing personal loans or loans for a mortgage; and
  • Having difficulty securing custody of a child.

Contact a Resourceful Intent to Distribute Lawyer in Pottstown, PA Today

If you have been charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, contact a Pottstown criminal defense lawyer Cohen & Patel today. Your rights and freedom may depend on it. Our legal team proudly represents clients throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, including in Montgomery County, Berks County, and Chester County, and in the towns of East Norriton, Norristown, Allentown, Lancaster, Bensalem, Easton, Levittown, Bethlehem, Erie, Mechanicsburg, Chester, Harrisburg, and more.

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