If you find yourself facing the prospect of criminal charges for drug possession, you might not know what to expect. While there is no way to predict exactly how your trial might go, you can get an idea of the types of penalties that the prosecution might seek according to the circumstances of your arrest. Here are some of the factors that can increase the penalties of a drug possession conviction.
The quantity of the drug matters
Your sentence upon conviction could vary greatly depending upon the quantity and type of the drugs that you allegedly had in your possession.
For example, if the prosecution convicts you of possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana, you might face up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. The length of jail time and the fines progressively increase according to the amount of marijuana allegedly in your possession. Penalties are also much higher for different types of controlled substances, such as methamphetamine.
Possessing a weapon
Pennsylvania law has provisions that add penalties to a conviction for a drug crime if the defendant was in possession of a firearm – whether they used the firearm or not – during the commission of the felony for which they were convicted.
In other words, it does not matter if you didn’t fire your gun, and it doesn’t matter if you didn’t even pull your gun out. The mere fact that you had a weapon on your person or within your reach when you allegedly committed the drug crime that the prosecution is charging you with could be enough to make your sentence far more severe if they manage to convict you.
It can be scary to receive notice of criminal charges against you, but don’t lose hope. You have the opportunity to work with your attorney to put together a strategy, and you will have your day in court to present your defense.