What Are Penalties for Drug Possession in Pennsylvania

Person in handcuffs

Pennsylvania carries strict penalties for drug possession. Though the exact penalty is determined by many factors, getting convicted of drug possession can lead to life-altering consequences, such as jail time, fines, problems getting jobs, and suspended driver's licenses. Knowing the penalties for drug possession can help you understand your rights and ensure a safe and secure future.

Here are the penalties for drug possession in Pennsylvania.

How is Possession Categorized?

Penalties for drug possession vary based on multiple factors, including the type of drugs and offense. In this blog, we’ll break down the different penalties for drug possession.

In Pennsylvania, possession is categorized between simple possession and possession with intent to distribute (PWID). The distinction is typically determined by the amount in possession at the time of arrest. For PWID, Title 18 of Pennsylvania law outlines state-mandated penalties.

For simple possession, the penalties follow a schedule based on offense and type of drug in possession.

Jail Time and Fines for a Simple Possession Conviction

For a first-time drug possession offense, the penalty carries up to one year of jail time and a $5,00 fine. A second-time offense carries up to three years of jail time and a $25,000 fine. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will also suspend your license for drug possession charges.

PA law also outlines the penalties for common drug possession convictions, which include marijuana and fentanyl.

The penalty for possessing a small amount of marijuana is labeled as a misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail. It is noteworthy that new legislation is on the table that can change laws for marijuana in PA. Drug paraphernalia possession is also classified as a misdemeanor, carrying a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail.

Because of rising cases of overdosing and the national spotlight, the penalty for fentanyl possession in Pennsylvania is a minimum of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Penalties for other drug convictions may carry more severe punishments. The best thing to do for yourself is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to fight for you.

Seek Legal Guidance

If you are arrested on drug possession charges, it’s vital to protect your rights. At Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC, we aggressively handle drug possession cases with effective legal strategies. Having a compassionate attorney in your corner as soon as possible after an arrest is the best way to defend your case.

Contact us at (610) 365-4733 to learn more about how we can protect your rights.

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