Many people from Philadelphia are charged with drug related offenses each year. The charges can vary from simple possession of illegal substances to charges of intent to deliver. There are also many different types of illegal substances that people possess or sell such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin and prescription drugs without a valid prescription. However, no matter what the charge or the type of drug, a person charged with a drug offense is simply beginning the legal process. Until they either plead guilty or are convicted at trial, the person remains innocent.
Recently 10 people were charged for alleged possession and distribution of heroin in central Pennsylvania. The people who were arrested were accused of getting the heroin from people in New York and Philadelphia and selling it in the area. A grand jury listened to testimony and other evidence relating to the alleged distribution of heroin and recommended the criminal charges against the 10 people. The cases will now be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force Section.
If convicted of these drug charges these people may be facing serious consequences. There are mandatory minimum sentences for convictions where there is intent to deliver the drug or drug trafficking. There are many factors that help determine whether there was a intent to sell the drug as well as determine the severity of the penalty. The factors include the type of drug, how it was packaged, the amount of the drug in the person’s possession, how much cash is found with the drugs and others.
There are defenses to drug charges though, starting with the initial search or seizure of the drugs. Police have to follow certain rules when they search a person, their car or home. If these rules are violated the drugs may be suppressed and not be used as a part of the case against the person. The likelihood of a conviction greatly decreases without the drugs.
People who have been accused of drug offenses in Philadelphia could be facing serious consequences depending on the specific charges against them. There are defenses to the charges though depending on the specific facts of the case. Attorneys understand people’s rights and may be able to help protect them.
Source: Philly.com, “Pa. heroin ring bust nets 10” Alex Wigglesworth, Feb. 6, 2014