Even with Pennsylvania legalizing medical marijuana and Pittsburgh relaxing charges for minor possession, distributing marijuana in and around Pittsburgh is a different story entirely. Marijuana distribution is a serious drug charge, and convictions severely complicate a person’s life.
But being charged with marijuana distribution does not guarantee you’ll be convicted. There is a lot an experienced lawyer can do to help. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, our marijuana lawyers know how the current cannabis laws are interpreted and enforced in Pennsylvania, and how to secure the best possible outcome. This could mean having your charges dismissed, reduced, or more easily putting marijuana distribution charges behind you.
Charged with marijuana distribution in Pittsburgh? Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC at (412) 281-2146 for a free consultation. We’ll expain your options and what comes next.
How Much Marijuana Get’s You Arrested?
You can be arrested for distributing even a small amount of marijuana. The severity of the penalties vary depending on the quantity that you are found to have given away, sold, gifted, or otherwise distributed.
Possession with the intent to deliver marijuana has an offense gravity score that ranges from 3 to 10 depending on the weight of marijuana in question.
Marijuana Distribution Penalties
Distributing 30 grams of marijuana or less without compensation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days’ imprisonment.
Selling more than 30 grams is a felony that may result in a $15,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Offenders with prior drug convictions are subject to the maximum penalty.
Distributing 1,000 pounds or more is a felony that may lead to incarceration for up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $100,000.
Subsequent convictions can double the penalty, as well as if the marijuana was sold to a minor. Distributing cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school or within 250 feet of a playground is punishable by a prison sentence of two to four years.
How a marijuana distribution conviction affects your life
- You will have a criminal record that negatively affects your ability to get a job, join the military, obtain certain professional licenses, or be admitted to graduate school. In addition, you may be ineligible for certain types of federal student aid.
- 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.
- If you share custody of your children, a marijuana conviction could be damaging to your custodial agreement with some loss of rights to see your children.
Steps to Take if You Have Been Charged
The magnitude of your distribution of marijuana charge depends largely on the amount of marijuana involved. However, the first thing you should do after being charged is to contact an experienced Pittsburgh marijuana lawyer. These serious charges could impact your life forever, and having an attorney’s experience in fighting your charges and negotiating on your behalf could help you avoid prison time and thousands of dollars in fines.
How We Can Help
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we have a lot of experience in marijuana distribution cases in and around Allegheny County and a successful track record of helping our clients find the best possible solution. Our first strategy will be to try and have the charges dropped or reduced. This is particularly important if we can have a felony lowered to a misdemeanor and greatly reduce the potential penalties you would suffer upon conviction.
If the prosecution decides to move forward with charges, we will review your various options, including negotiating a plea, seeking entrance into a diversion program, and fighting for an acquittal at trial.
There are a number of defenses we may be able to use in a marijuana distribution case, including:
- Was your initial stop and/or arrest legal
- Were you subject to an unlawful search or seizure
- Was the evidence against you unlawfully obtained
- Whether you were actually in possession of drugs
- Prosecution’s lack of sufficient evidence
- The actual weight of the drugs