Simple Possession in Pennsylvania

What Is Considered Simple Possession in Pennsylvania?

Simple possession is a serious crime in Pennsylvania. In fact, the penalties are some of the most severe in the United States, compounded by long prison terms. The length of time spent in prison is determined by the type of offense, the amount of drugs and whether the offender has a prior criminal conviction or used a gun. 

How a Criminal Lawyer Can Help

If you are convicted of simple possession under Pennsylvania law, you need the legal help a criminal lawyer can provide. It is important to speak with a lawyer who has experience defending drug crimes as quickly as possible. The evidence may disappear or be tampered with before your attorney can evaluate it. In addition, the prosecutor has the advantage of being on the case from day one. 

The Travis Law Firm has successfully defended many clients charged with simple possession. They thoroughly look for evidence that shows cracks in the prosecutor’s case. We offer the client and family the ability to contact them anytime they need to after being retained. Call Travis Law to schedule a consultation. If you are incarcerated, we can come to you.

What is Drug Possession?

Simple possession is defined as the act of possessing a counterfeit or controlled substance by someone not legally registered or licensed to do so. Having possession of a prescription from a lawful practitioner made out to the possesser is not considered a drug crime.

What Are the Penalties for Simple Drug Possession?

This occurs when a person has a drug but does not intend to distribute it. There are several categories, depending on the drug:

  • Marijuana: In Pennsylvania, marijuana is a Schedule I drug, and if convicted, it is a misdemeanor. The amount of marijuana is important, and someone holding 30 grams or less could receive a $500 fine along with a maximum jail time of 30 days. On the other hand, if the amount of marijuana is greater than 30 grams, the holder can receive a one-year jail term and a $5,000 fine. If this is the first time, the person may be able to obtain a conditional release with maximum probation of one year. If this is the second time you possessed marijuana, the penalties may be doubled. 
  • Cocaine: Possessing cocaine can net the person one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. It is considered a misdemeanor. However, if it is a second offense, the person can receive three years in jail along with a $25,000 fine. If possession is accompanied by an intent to sell, the fine minimum is $25,000 and 15 years in jail.
  • MDMA: This drug carries a mandatory minimum of one year’s jail time and a fine of $5,000. If there is an intent to sell, the fine is $25,000 and five years in jail.
  • Oxycodone: This schedule II drug is legal if you have a prescription. Otherwise, possession results in a felony or a misdemeanor. Possession can result in one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. It is a misdemeanor. If the holder intends to sell the drug, he/she will be charged with a felony and spend two years in prison. If the person is planning on selling it, the penalty is a $5,000 or more fine and two years in prison.
  • PCP: This is considered a Schedule II drug. If a person is caught with simple possession of fewer than two grams, the penalties are one year in jail and a fine of $5,000. Larger amounts with the intent to sell bring a longer prison term and a higher fine.
  • Methamphetamine: This is a Schedule II drug. The penalty depends on how much the person has and if they intend to sell it. Less than five grams brings jail time of one year and $5,000. Depending on the amount, if the person intends to sell it, they might face a minimum of three years in jail. 
  • Heroin: Simple possession of less than one gram of this mandatory minimum sentencing drug brings with it at least one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. Penalties increase for repeat offenders, and an intent to distribute rachets it up. 

The Travis Law Firm

The Travis Law Firm has defended many clients who were charged with drug possession. A charge of drug possession is not a conviction. Let us help you. Call (814) 277-2222 or reach out to us online.