A drug charge is a serious offense anywhere, and a cocaine-related charge can be particularly consequential. In Bethlehem, Stroudsburg, and Palmerton, the possession, use, or trafficking of cocaine is illegal, and is considered a significant offense under the law.
If you’re facing cocaine charges in Pennsylvania, seek the advice of a lawyer immediately. For more information about the types of cocaine-related offenses in Pennsylvania, as well as the penalties for a crime involving cocaine, refer to the following.
Cocaine-related Offenses in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, like other states, the distribution, use, or possession of cocaine is in violation of the law and can lead to cocaine charges with steep penalties. Simple possession of cocaine is much less severe than the distribution of, or intent to distribute, cocaine, though. According to Pennsylvania Code Title 35 Section 780-113, the possession of any controlled substance, such as cocaine, is prohibited.
For a first offense, possession of cocaine is a misdemeanor, depending upon the amount. However, for a first offense of cocaine distribution, the charge is automatically a felony. Second or third offenses have more serious penalties associated with them in terms of both imprisonment and fines.
Drug trafficking of cocaine is also a serious crime. Depending upon the amount of cocaine involved, the penalties range in severity. However, in most cases, trafficking of cocaine in nearly always a felony charge.
Penalties for a Cocaine Conviction in Pennsylvania
As mentioned above, a first offense possession of cocaine charge will typically be a misdemeanor, which carries a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of $5,000, as well as a six-month driver’s license revocation (or more, depending on the circumstances). A subsequent offense will carry a penalty of up to three years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.
However, if the weight of cocaine is more than 10 grams but less than 100 grams, the sentence will be increased to an incarceration time of no more than three years and a fine of no more than $15,000. For possession of amounts of cocaine in excess of 100 grams, the penalty is a maximum incarceration sentence of four years, and the fine can be up to $25,000.
If another drug trafficking offense is simultaneously committed, the prison sentence and fine increase, according to 18 Pa. Const. Stat. Sec. 7508.
Sale of cocaine carries a max penalty of 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 or more to recover any profit the defendant made on drug sales. Any subsequent offenses carry double penalties. Double penalties also apply for sale to a minor. Your attorney can go over the specific cocaine charges and penalties you might face upon conviction.
Defense Against Cocaine-Related Charges
If you are facing cocaine charges in Pennsylvania, it’s important that you take action immediately by seeking the advice of a criminal defense attorney today. Retaining legal counsel can be important to protecting your rights and understanding your personal criminal defense.
Defenses might include proving that the cocaine was not in your possession, proving you did not possess a sufficient quantity of the drug to warrant charges, and more. Some cases may involve entrapment or an illegal search and seizure.
If you are facing criminal charges regarding the possession or distribution of cocaine in Pennsylvania, the attorneys at ARM Lawyers can help. Our attorneys can provide you with more information about the best defense strategy for your particular cocaine charges, and how to best achieve the most favorable outcome in your case.