Harrisburg/York Felony Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Answers: “What are the penalties or consequences for Drug Delivery and Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID) in PA?”
Similar to the penalties or consequences one may face for drug possession or any other criminal case, the penalties you could be subject to for Drug Delivery or PWID vary depending upon the facts and circumstances specific to your case. Likewise, there are general penalties that a person accused of Drug Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver should be aware of.
While there are some similarities in providing an overarching assessment for both drug possession and drug delivery charges, it is like comparing apples and oranges when evaluating the severity of the penalties.
To begin, like any criminal charge, a Drug Delivery or PWID charge could result in a conviction. It is best to speak with a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your personal case. Unlike a basic drug possession charge, Drug Delivery and PWID are felony crimes, not misdemeanors. Thus, upon conviction, your permanent criminal record will reflect a Felony Drug Conviction. Unfortunately, this is a type of conviction that can make a person virtually unemployable in any professional setting.
If it is not enough of a burden to consider the potential, negative ramifications a Felony Drug Conviction will have on your ability to maintain or obtain meaningful employment, we must now consider the possibility of jail, including state prison.
Like all criminal offenses, whether a person accused of Drug Delivery or PWID will be subject to jail time can be determined by the gravity of the offense coupled with a prior criminal history or lack thereof. However, unlike most crimes, a person who has been accused of PWID and has no prior criminal history could face mandatory jail time, which could require the sentence to be served in state prison.
In PA, mandatory prison sentences could apply to accusations of Drug Delivery depending on the drug allegedly sold or possessed with the intent to deliver it, the weight of the drug, whether a gun was possessed at the time of the sale, and/or the location of the drug sale.
Weight mandatories are what they say they are — a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration based upon the weight of the drug. Additionally, the applicable mandatory minimum sentences for a particular drug can escalate based upon prior convictions for drug delivery and increased weight. For example, if you were convicted of selling 3 grams of cocaine to an undercover cop and had never been convicted of drug delivery before, the prosecuting attorney could assert a 1 year mandatory minimum sentence against you. In this hypothetical, even if you had a clean record your entire life, this could result in a 1- 2 years or more in state prison.
In addition to the risks of a potential weight mandatory, a person accused of Drug Delivery could face a School Zone Mandatory based upon the location of the sale. In PA, the law specifically outlines distances from schools, bus stops, daycares, and playgrounds that could implicate this type of mandatory minimum prison sentence and enhancement.
The final mandatory minimum sentencing provision related to drug crimes is triggered by the possession of a firearm at the time of the sale. If there is sufficent evidence to result in a conviction for drug delivery and that a gun was possessed during the commission of the offense, a 5 year mandatory minimum sentence could be imposed. If such minimum sentence was imposed, it would result in a minimum prison term of at least 5 to 10 years in a state facility.
At the end of the day, these are all penalties that you could face if convicted and dependant upon the specific nature and facts of your charge(s).
If you have been accused of Drug Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver in PA, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable and experienced PA Drug Defense Lawyer, who can evaluate your case and implement a personalized, strategic approach to address the accusations against you. Because once you have been charged with a Felony Drug Crime, the question becomes: how do I avoid these penalties and consequences?
Contact a PA Felony Drug Defense Attorney for your free, initial phone consultation today.