Drug charges are significant charges and can be punished harshly in Pennsylvania. Drug charges carry potentially stiff penalties, serious consequences and a lifetime criminal record. Penalties for drug charges can include criminal penalties such as incarceration, administrative penalties such as the loss of a driver's license and can threaten a business or occupational license. Drug charges, therefore, threaten the freedom and professional and personal lives of accused individuals.
Both felony and misdemeanor drug charges can result in minimum jail or prison sentences. Drug charges can include possession charges; possession with intent to deliver charges; drug trafficking charges; drug cultivation charges; drug paraphernalia charges; and prescription drug charges such as fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs or illegally selling prescription drugs. Drug charges can relate to drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, oxycodone and ecstasy, among some others.
A strong criminal defense strategy will take into account the accusations against the accused individual, as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding the charges and the allegations made by authorities. It may be possible to challenge alleged evidence against the accused individual if a witness is not credible or, for instance, if police violated protections in place to protect individuals accused of a crime.
In some circumstances, it may be possible to reduce charges or penalties or eliminate the charges the accused individual is facing all together. The potential outcome is based on the unique situation of the accused individual which is why it is important to form a strong criminal defense strategy early on based on that unique set of circumstances.