Manufacturing drugs is a serious crime and one that holds severe consequences if conviction occurs. Each state has its laws regarding drug manufacturing prosecution. Here’s a look at Pennsylvania’s controlled substances and manufacturing laws and your options if you’ve been charged with drug manufacturing.
Definition of Drug Manufacturing
In the most basic definition of the term, a person who is considered to be a drug manufacturer is a person who, “manufactures a controlled substance, other drug or device.” According to The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act of Pennsylvania, manufacturing can refer to any act to produce, prepare, propagate, compound, convert or otherwise process a controlled substance. Pennsylvania law prohibits a person from manufacturing controlled substances unless the drugs are manufactured with permission (chemist, pharmacist, etc.) and license.
Penalties in Pennsylvania
A person who manufactures a controlled substance or another drug without first obtaining a license to do so may face a misdemeanor charge. The first misdemeanor offense charge is punishable by a fine of up to $6,000 and imprisonment of not more than six months. On a second conviction, sentencing increases to imprisonment not exceeding two years and a fine of not more than $25,000, according to Unconsolidated Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35: Health and Safety.
However, a misdemeanor charge is the least severe conviction. Manufacturing certain drugs within the state of Pennsylvania is punished less harshly than others – for example, a person who cultivated a few marijuana plants will face the charges mentioned above, but a person who manufacturers harder drugs – such as Schedule I or II drugs — or a greater amount of drugs may face felony charges. Charges for manufacturing a narcotic drug, for example, can result in a penalty of up to $250,000 and up to 15 years in prison. Additionally, a person simultaneously may be charged with manufacturing, possession and distribution.
Defenses of Drug Manufacturing Charges
When a person has been charged with drug manufacturing, it is within his or her best interest to hire an attorney to help build a defense or negotiate a plea bargain. Some defenses of drug manufacturing charges that the person and his or her attorney may consider employing are listed below.
- Unlawful search and seizure (resulting in arrest and charge)
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of intent to deliver or traffic the drugs
- Lack of possession (the drug did not belong to the charged person)
- The charged person is licensed to manufacture the drugs
The appropriate defense to use varies on a case-by-case basis, which is why an attorney is essential. If a strong defense is not presented and the defendant is found guilty, he or she may face any of the consequences listed above, including hefty fines and jail or prison time. Additionally, a drug manufacturing conviction will appear on the individual’s permanent criminal record, which can have a lasting impact on the convict’s future opportunities.
A Criminal Defense Attorney is Critical
Being charged with a crime in Pennsylvania is an extensive process and involves a number of legal dealings, including an arraignment, hearing and sentencing. To help understand your rights as a person charged with drug manufacturing, you need an attorney.
The attorneys at ARM Lawyers believe that every person deserves the right the legal representation, and we’ll work hard to make sure that your voice is heard. If you need help, have questions about what a drug manufacturing conviction may mean for your future or are in need of other legal resources, call us today to schedule a case consultation.