There are many Philadelphia residents who use prescription drugs to treat various medical conditions and injuries. When used correctly, these drugs can be beneficial. However, as law enforcement attempts to crack down on substance abuse, even these individuals may wind up facing serious criminal charges.
To try and combat illegal drugs in Philadelphia, the police recently arrested 176 people who were allegedly associated with drug dealing in Philadelphia. There were a variety of charges, but many of the people arrested were charged with drug offenses. The police say they seized 161 grams of heroin, 1,282 grams of cocaine, and other drugs with an estimated street value of $226,000. The police claim they also seized guns, cars, and cash associated with the arrests.
The people who were arrested could be facing severe penalties, including mandatory prison sentences, if they are convicted for these crimes. However, until they are proven guilty, they are presumed innocent and may be able to avoid a conviction. To do this, they will need to assess the defenses available to them, many of which start with whether the police legally stopped them and legally seized the drugs in questions. There are rules law enforcement must follow when they stop and search individuals and private residences. If they do not follow these rules, then the evidence gathered may be suppressed, thereby making a conviction unlikely.
In addition to the 176 people arrested recently, many others are arrested in Philadelphia each year on drug charges. These are just charges, though, and the accused individuals must go through the criminal justice system before they are convicted or acquitted. It is thus important to understand one's rights and the potential defenses available to them.
Source: philly.com, "Cops target dealers of deadly heroin in three-day sweep", Stephanie Farr, Dec. 21, 2016