Molly, Ecstacy and other MDMA-based party drugs are turning up more frequently than ever in the Pittsburgh area. Although MDMA, methamphetamine and PCP are in wide use, they are illegal and you can be charged with a serious drug crime if you are caught possessing them.
The Quantity Of MDMA, Methamphetamines and PCP That Can Get You Arrested
You can be arrested for possession even if you only have just a small amount that you intended only for personal use.
For a first conviction of possessing MDMA, methamphetamines or PCP, Pennsylvania’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws will be used against you, and you can be sentenced to up to one year in prison.
For a second conviction you could serve up to two years in prison, and up to three years for a third conviction.
Your driver’s license will be suspended for six months for a first offense, one year for a second offense, and two years for a third offense.
In addition to prison time and fines, you also face a tarnished criminal record that may prevent you from getting a new job or maintaining your existing one, obtaining financial aid, passing security clearance exams, or more.
If you share custody of your children, a drug conviction could be damaging to your parental agreement and you might lose some of your rights to see your kids.
In Pennsylvania, for you to be convicted of possessing a controlled substance, prosecutors must prove:
- You knowingly and intentionally had control of an illegal drug.
- You knew the drugs were illegal, you knew the drugs were present, and you intended to use or control them.
- You either had actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance. In other words, you had the drug on your person, such as in your pocket, or in a spot that you had control over, like the trunk of your car or hidden under your bed.
What Pennsylvania Law Says About Drugs
Under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, it is prohibited to knowingly or intentionally possess drugs (or fake drugs) unless you have a prescription; this is classified as a misdemeanor. It is also prohibited to manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to deliver drugs unless you are licensed to do so, and a violation of this is a felony.
What Should You Do if You’re Charged?
If you have been charged with a drug offense, your first step should be to immediately hire a lawyer.
An experienced drug lawyer will have worked with the prosecutors handling your case many times before. They can draw on their relationships and understanding of the local court system to lessen or dismiss your charges.
Don’t talk to the police or prosecutors unless your attorney is with you.
Your lawyer will go over what happened both before and after your arrest. Importantly, he or she will assess whether there was probable cause to charge you with a crime. This includes determining if the drugs really belonged to you.
If you were arrested for MDMA, methamphetamine or PCP possession while you were in your car, a critical aspect of your case will be whether or not the police had probable cause to pull you over and do a search. If there was not probable cause, the evidence obtained by law enforcement can be suppressed.