Although there is much talk of marijuana legalization in Pennsylvania, and a number of western states such as California, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana, in Pennsylvania, being in possession of any amount of marijuana (without a valid medical marijuana prescription) is still a criminal offense. And, should prosecutors and/or a judge choose to pursue incarceration, you can find yourself in jail for possessing even a small amount of marijuana.
You Face 30 Days in Jail For a Small Amount of Marijuana
Under Pennsylvania law, there are separate criminal charges based on the amount of marijuana found in your possession and your intent in possessing it. If you possess 30 grams or less of marijuana, or 8 grams or less of hashish, and the marijuana is for your personal use or to give to another person – and you do not intend to sell it to another person – then the maximum sentence is 30 days in jail or a $500 fine, or both.
If you possess more than 30 grams of marijuana, or 8 grams of hashish, OR if you intend to sell any amount of marijuana, then you face up to one year in jail or a $5,000 fine, or both.
Working With a Criminal Defense Attorney on a Pennsylvania Marijuana Charge
Because the penalties for even a small amount of marijuana are relatively severe in Pennsylvania – and a criminal record for drug possession can haunt your personal and professional goals for years – it is advised that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney in responding to marijuana charges.
An experienced defense attorney can present all possible defenses in your favor, which can include questioning the legality of the manner in which police stopped, questioned, and searched you or your belongings. Your attorney can also raise questions of fact regarding the amount of marijuana, whether it was truly in your possession, whether you had intent to actually possess it, and whether you had intent to distribute marijuana. Your attorney can also negotiate with prosecutors to seek lesser penalties and argue for mitigated sentencing, including no jail time.
Speak with a PA Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with or are under investigation for any drug-related crime in Pennsylvania, The Martin Law Firm, P.C., in Montgomery County, may be able to help. Contact us today for a free consultation with a PA criminal defense attorney today to discuss your circumstances.