Drug offenses in Pennsylvania may result in consequences beyond the courtroom. Offenders may face probation, fines and jail time, but these penalties only scratch the surface. Drug use convictions can result in severe legal and practical consequences that can manifest both instantly and in the long term.
A drug conviction may lead to a criminal record, which can seriously hinder one’s job prospects. What’s more, a drug conviction can negatively impact one’s ability to find housing, attend school and qualify for federal loans.
Penalties depend on several factors
Certain variables will impact the severity of the penalties for drug offenses. These variables include:
- The amount of drugs involved
- The drug’s schedule
- Whether or not minors are present
- Whether or not firearms are present
For example, marijuana is not legal for recreational use in Pennsylvania. It is categorized as a Schedule I drug. Small amounts of marijuana that are possessed for personal use may result in a misdemeanor charge, while larger amounts or the intention to distribute may lead to criminal charges. Possession of up to 30 grams carries a $500 fine in addition to a 30-day jail sentence. Penalties for quantities over 30 grams are more severe and can result in up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. In addition, if you are accused of selling marijuana near schools or other authorized places that kids frequent, the charges might be even more serious.
This is just one example of a drug offense – marijuana possession – that could lead to significant legal and practical consequences. If you are facing drug charges, seek assistance to help you mitigate the risk that you’ll face repercussions for your allegedly unlawful drug-related conduct.