35 P.S. § 780-113 defines what conduct is unlawful when it comes to controlled substances. Offenses can range from possession of paraphernalia and simple possession up to the more serious offenses of possession with intent to deliver and delivery.
With the exception of possession of paraphernalia, all drug offenses have a driver’s license suspension that starts with six months for the first offense, and increase thereafter. It’s important to remember that each individual charge within each case can result in an independent suspension by PENNDOT.
The offenses of delivery and possession with intent to deliver can carry mandatory jail sentences depending on the weight and type of substance in question. There are also increased penalties for delivery in certain places, like schools and playgrounds. Subsequent offenses carry multiplications of these mandatories, which must also be considered.
Drug offenses can also carry the most hefty fines of any criminal offenses, with the Court empowered to fine up to $250.000.00 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the profits obtained from the illegal activity.
Drug offenses also have a significant effect on your employability, with many employers refusing to hire persons who have been convicted of drug crimes.
Finally, if you are convicted of a drug offense that is punishable by more than two years, you will no longer be permitted to possess a firearm in the State of Pennsylvania.
It is imperative that you hire experienced counsel as soon as possible, if you are facing drug charges.