There are legal ways and illegal ways to possess drugs in Philadelphia. The legal way is by having a valid prescription for the drug from a doctor. When drugs are prescribed, they are controlled and being used to treat a medical condition. However, if the drug is not prescribed, often, the drug would be illegal and possession of it would also be a crime. Then, there are other drugs, which are never prescribed by doctors and only possessed illegally.
One of these drugs is cocaine. Despite the fact that it is illegal, there are many people who still use the drug. But, for a person to use an illegal drug, someone else must supply it for them. So, as one can imagine, there are many people in Philadelphia who also deal cocaine.
The penalties for drug possession are severe, but the penalties for distributing cocaine are even more severe. If a person is caught possessing it with the intent to distribute, they can be charged with a felony.
The maximum penalty, if convicted, is up to 10 years in jail and up to a $100,000 fine or both. The fine could be even more than that though, if the person has made more than $100,000 from their operation. If that is the case, the fine can be high enough to exhaust any assets used to sell the drug.
Many people in Philadelphia use cocaine, and there are also many dealers. If a dealer is caught, they face severe penalties, but they will only face these penalties if they are convicted. Simply being charged with possession with the intent to deliver does not mean that the person is, in fact, guilty of the crime.
There are many factors that go into that determination, and there may also be a number of defenses available depending on the facts of the case. Experienced attorneys understand these defenses and may be able to protect one's rights.
Source: Health.Pa.gov, "The controlled substances, drugs, device and cosmetics Act, Section 18," accessed on Aug. 22, 2016