one oof the most serious types of Drug Crimes is the charge of Drug Delivery resulting in death. In order to be convicted of Drug Crimes such as drug delivery resulting in death, the government must meet several burdens. Heroin Under the old statute in Pennsylvania for drug delivery resulting in death, a person commits murder of the third degree who administers, dispenses, delivers, gives, prescribes, sells or distributes any controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance in violation of section 13(a)(14) or (30) of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, and another person dies as a result of using the substance. The mandatory minimum sentence for this offense under the old statute is a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of $15,000, or such a larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in the proceeds from the illegal activity.
Drug crimes are not just serious charges which can call for extended periods in prison, but they can also take a huge toll on the soul in the form of addiction. Frequently, individuals who are charged with drug crimes such as heroine or prescription drugs are not just casual users of the drugs, but addicts. As an attorney, handling cases such as these is very different than handling the typical criminal case. Defending Drug Crimes The reason is that the client and typically the client's family is looking for solace from the battle against addiction. As an accused or a loved one accused, there are several things that you should keep in mind when searching for an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle the drug case of an individual fighting addiction.
One of the primary way too defend against drug charges is to challenge the manner in which law enforcement seized the drugs. This can be done in several different ways. Defending Intent to Deliver cases First, you can challenge the manner and the basis for which the police stopped the accused's car or person. Second, you can challenge the police officer's decision to search an accused's car or person for illegal narcotics. And finally, you can also challenge whether the police had probable cause to arrest a defendant for either the possession or distribution of illegal narcotics.
Drug trafficking or distribution in Pennsylvania is referred to as "Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance." Possession with the Intent to Deliver narcotics is an extremely serious crime and punishable anywhere from five to twenty years in prison depending upon the type of drug, the amount and a Defendant's prior record. Controlled substances include illegal drugs and narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription pills, Molly, PCP etc. If you are being investigated for such a crime or have been charged, it is imperative that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
According to police, 32 individuals are facing charges in Pennsylvania in connection with a Colombian drug ring. Local officials were informed in January 2014 of a possible connection between heroin trafficking in Montgomery County and in Medellin, Colombia, by agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The evidence of the connection was allegedly discovered during a wiretap investigation.
Chester County offers a diversionary court program known as Recovery Court. This court is available to level 3 and 4 offenders who are drug and/or alcohol dependent. The benefit of this program is it minimizes jail time the offender is required to serve and provides the offender with long term and highly structured drug and alcohol treatment supervision.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently issued a ruling declaring the mandatory minimum sentencing statutes unconstitutional. At issue in the case of Commonwealth v. Newman was whether the trial court's imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence for a case allegedly involving possession of guns in close proximity to drugs was unconstitutional in light of the recent United States Supreme Court case Alleyne v. United States. In Alleyne, the USSC held that any fact which triggers the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence must be submitted to a jury and that jury must find the existence of that fact beyond a reasonable doubt.
Pennsylvania law provides for a program known as "probation without a verdict" for first time offenders of the Controlled Substance Act. Counties in Pennsylvania, such as Montgomery County, offer this program to first-time offenders charged with a nonviolent offense of the controlled substance act.
Often times drug charges are followed by forfeiture proceedings. Forfeitures are important not only to someone who is charged with a drug offense, but also members of the family who own property that is forfeited.
In Pennsylvania, a person who is convicted of the crime of possession with the intent to deliver can face a number of mandatory minimum sentences. One of the factual scenarios that can activate a mandatory minimum sentence is where a firearm is located in close proximity to the controlled substance being possessed for sale.