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Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC (412) 281-2146

    Pittsburgh Drug Trafficking Attorney

    Suppose you are being investigated for trafficking or smuggling controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, or illegally acquired prescription drugs. In that case, it’s likely that you will face federal as well as state charges.

    Prosecutors may also file additional charges, particularly if they believe your importation operation was part of a larger drug business. An experienced Pittsburgh drug trafficking lawyer could be the best solution to your pending charges.

    Contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, to schedule your no-risk consultation.

    How a Pittsburgh Drug Trafficking Lawyer Can Help You

    When you face drug trafficking charges, you should first hire a drug lawyer.

    They Help Reduce or Dismiss Charges

    An experienced drug defense attorney 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. They have also handled drug cases at the federal level with successful outcomes.

    They Protect Your Rights

    Don’t talk to the police or prosecutors unless your drug trafficking attorney is with you. Your drug trafficking lawyer will examine your case, beginning with whether there was probable cause to charge you with a crime.

    Law enforcement may have searched your property without probable cause or a warrant. In that case, all unlawfully obtained evidence should be dismissed.

    Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Pittsburgh

    Under 18 Pa. Code § 7508, smuggling and importation of drugs are classified as drug trafficking. A person who is convicted of trafficking or smuggling drugs faces the following penalties per Pennsylvania’s mandatory minimum sentencing:

    Trafficking Marijuana

    Here are the penalties for trafficking marijuana based on the amount of marijuana in question:

    • Two to 10 pounds or 10 to 20 live plants: One year in prison and a fine of $5,000 for the first offense, and two years in prison and a fine of $10,000 for the second offense
    • Ten to 50 pounds or 21 to 51 live plants: Three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 for the first offense, and four years and a fine of $30,000 for the second offense
    • Fifty pounds or more or at least 51 live plants: Five years in prison and a fine of $50,000 for the first or second offense

    Trafficking Cocaine

    Here are the penalties for trafficking cocaine based on the amounts you are accused of trafficking:

    • Two to 10 grams: One year in prison and a fine of $5,000 for the first offense, and three years in prison and $10,000 in fines for the second offense
    • Ten to 100 grams: Three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 for the first offense, and five years in prison and $30,000 for the second offense
    • One hundred grams or more: Five years in prison and a fine of $25,000 for the first offense, and seven years in prison and $50,000 for the second offense

    Trafficking Heroin

    Heroin trafficking carries similar penalties to those of marijuana and cocaine trafficking charges. They are as follows:

    • One to five grams: Two years and a fine of $5,000 for the first offense, and three years and a fine of $10,000 for the second offense
    • Five to 50 grams: Three years and a fine of $15,000 for the first offense, and five years and a fine of $30,000 for the second offense
    • Fifty grams or more: Five years and a fine of $25,000 for the first offense, and seven years and a fine of $50,000 for the second offense

    Trafficking Methamphetamine or Phencyclidine

    Here are the penalties for trafficking methamphetamine or phencyclidine based on the amounts you allegedly trafficked:

    • Five to 10 grams: Three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 for the first offense, and five years in prison and a fine of $30,000 for the second offense
    • Ten to 100 grams: Four years in prison and a fine of $25,000 for the first offense, and seven years in prison and a fine of $50,000 for the second offense
    • One hundred grams or more: Five years in prison and a fine of $50,000 for the first offense, and eight years in prison and a fine of $50,000 for the second offense

    Drug Trafficking Defenses

    If you have been arrested on drug trafficking charges, you must take action to defend yourself. The consequences of a conviction could haunt you for the rest of your life.

    For this reason, you need an experienced drug trafficking attorney in Pittsburgh to help you build a powerful defense strategy. Common drug trafficking defenses include:

    Only after a careful examination into the circumstances of your case will your attorney have a better idea of which strategy is most likely to result in an acquittal or other favorable outcome in your case.

    Pittsburgh Drug Trafficking FAQ

    When you have been arrested on drug trafficking charges in Pittsburgh, you may have many unanswered questions about your arrest and what to expect next from your case.

    Here are answers to common questions regarding your charges. Any additional questions can be answered by contacting our office for a no-risk consultation.

    When Can You Face Federal Charges for Drug Trafficking in Pittsburgh?

    Your drug trafficking charges may become federal drug charges depending on the amount of drugs in question, the property in which the drugs were located, and whether the drug trafficking occurred across state lines.

    What Are Controlled Substances Under PA Law?

    Pennsylvania law recognizes five drug schedules from I to V. Schedule I drugs have the greatest potential for abuse and no recognized medical use in the U.S. Conversely, Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and are widely used within the medical industry.

    How Long Does a Drug Trafficking Case Take?

    The length of time it takes to resolve your drug trafficking charges will vary considerably depending on the complexity of your case. If you face felony charges, it would not be unreasonable to expect your case to be resolved within several months or up to one year.

    Contact a Drug Trafficking Attorney in Pittsburgh Today

    When you have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking, you must take steps to clear your name so that you can avoid the devastating penalties associated with a conviction.

    Meet with an aggressive Pittsburgh drug trafficking attorney to begin working on your defense strategy today. Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, to schedule your initial consultation. You can complete our online contact form or give our office a call at (412) 281-2146.