With the changing drug laws moving across the nation, the exact status of marijuana’s legality can be a bit confusing. You might wonder if being in possession of marijuana is still a crime, and if so, what you can expect to face if you are convicted on marijuana possession charges. In the state of Pennsylvania, it is illegal to be in possession of marijuana. The severity of the charge depends upon the case in question and the amount of drug in question, however it can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. A Pennsylvania attorney experienced in drug law can help ensure that your rights are upheld throughout the legal process.
Simple Possession of Marijuana
Marijuana possession charges in the state of Pennsylvania are general divided into two categories: those pertaining to simple possession, and those pertaining to possession with intent to distribute or deliver. Simple possession is used to reference cases where the accused was found with relatively small amounts of marijuana in their possession and clearly did not have any intent to sell or otherwise distribute the drug. The cut-off for this type of charge is generally 30 grams, where anything over that might be seen as possession to distribute and anything under that being seen as a “small amount” of marijuana intended for personal use. The former is a felony while the latter is tried as a misdemeanor.
If you are convicted of simple possession of marijuana in Pennsylvania, your exact punishment will vary depending upon your case. In general, a “small amount” of marijuana for a first-time offender tends to garner less-serious charges than repeat offenders or offenders possessing larger amounts of the drug. This includes 30 days of jail time as a maximum and a $500 maximum fine, however, note that your charges could be more severe or less severe depending upon the circumstances. That is one of the reasons why working an experienced attorney is so important.
Possession with Intent to Distribute
If you are found with more than 30 grams of marijuana or have prior offenses, you might be charged with possession with the intention to distribute or traffic the drug. This is a significantly more severe charge than simple possession and, accordingly, is tried as a felony. If you are convicted of this charge, you might find yourself spending years in prison and paying thousands of dollars in fines, an amount that can be extended to cover the total profit that you’ve made from the drug.
If you are facing marijuana possession charges in Pennsylvania, reach out to attorney James H. Bonner, Esquire, for help. With plenty of experience in criminal and drug law, he can help ensure that you receive the best outcome possible.
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