Illegal drugs are prevalent in Philadelphia, and each year many are arrested and face various drug charges. Despite the number of arrests each year, illegal drugs are still abundant in the city. However, law enforcement continues the so called “war on drugs.” Philadelphia’s police force, therefore, still conducts investigations and makes many arrests in an attempt to break up drug trade in the city. This could put many Philadelphians’ legal rights in jeopardy.
Recently, police conducted a series of drug raids in various neighborhoods throughout the city. As a result, police arrested 84 people, 77 adults and seven juveniles. Each person was arrested for an alleged drug-related offense. Police also allegedly confiscated numerous guns and multiple kinds of illegal drugs estimated to be worth more than $100,000. As a result of the raids, law enforcement officials feel they made a dent in drug trafficking in these neighborhoods. This was the third time this year police conducted this type of raid.
It is unclear how many of those arrested in the raids have been formally charged with drug offenses, but those who are charged face serious consequences. Convictions for a drug offense may carry mandatory minimum sentences, especially if the charges include an intent to distribute. This is generally determined by multiple factors including, but not limited to, the amount and type of drug, the amount of cash a person possesses, and how the drugs were packaged.
However, those who are accused of these crimes can seek a competent legal defense. A defense attorney can challenge whether police legally searched the person, their home or their car and whether they legally seized drugs. If the search or seizure of the drugs was illegal, then the confiscated drugs may be disallowed from use at trial.
Being charged with a crime is just the beginning of the legal process, and every defendant is innocent until proven guilty. Knowledgeable Philadelphia attorneys understand a person’s criminal rights and may be able to help protect them.
Source: Philly.com, “Citywide drug raids lead to 84 arrests” David Gambacorta, Nov. 24, 2013.