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Can I go to prison for intent to deliver?

Scranton, PA |

I was pulled over, and now have a felony for intent to deliver, and two misdemeanors which are for possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia.

Also, it was a year and a half ago. I don't have money, I don't know how I'd come up with enough to hire a lawyer. Was not in school zone, drug was marijuana. I've had NO criminal history. Not even a speeding ticket.

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Attorney answers 3


Depending on the weight of the drugs and whether the crime occurred in a school zone, there is possibly a mandatory jail sentence in the event of a conviction. There are so many issues involved so you need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. The sooner you hire a lawyer the better.


I assume when you state that you, "now have a felony . . ." you simply mean you have been charged with a felony drug offense. The direct answer to your question is YES, you could go to jail or prison depending on a number of factors only one of which is within your control. The type of controlled substance and the amount. Pennsylvania's Drug Act has several provisions creating mandatory minimum periods of incarceration for felony drug convictions. Your prior criminal history will impact the likelihood of incarceration, especially any prior felony drug convictions. The strength of the case against you and whether you made any admissions to police at the time of your arrest will bear upon the likelihood of a conviction. Before jail or prison becomes possible, the Commonwealth has to get a conviction. Accordingly, your first order of business should be engaging the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney skilled in the handling of drug cases. I suggest you not post any more details on the Internet and concentrate on securing a good attorney. Good luck.

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.


This is intended to respond to the additional information supplied. Unfortunately for those of us who represent people charged with crimes, your statement concerning you financial situation is all too common. Someone such as yourself, with no prior experience with the criminal system and defense representation, tend to overestimate the cost of private counsel and the availability to payment plans to accommodate Defendants (most of them) who are not independently wealthy. Legal fees, unlike the cost of gasoline, are not printed on large signs outside lawyer's offices. Fees can vary substantially, and as I mentioned, some good attorneys will take on a case on an installment basis. You need to explore the possibilities rather than assume it can't happen. In addition, I recommend that you put your "thinking cap" on to explore the possibilities. The circumstance you find yourself in right now is really important to your near and longterm future. "Where there's the will, there's the way." Most of us offer free, if limited, consultations. Take advantage of that; talk to as many attorneys as you need to to determine what your options may be, what the likely consequences may be, and whether there is a suitable attorney with whom you can make an acceptable arrangement for payment. You haven't indicated the weight of weed involved which is the main remaining unknown in terms of risk. Regardless of the weight, this is an extremely important event for your future. Get to work doing something that will help.


You certainly could go to jail. The likelihood depends upon whether you are convicted of simple possession or intent to deliver. If it is intent to deliver, the weight is very important. I do not view this as definite jail time, even if convicted of intent to deliver, unless this is an extreme amount. Many things will factor into this. Contact an attorney to discuss this further.

Michael L. Doyle
(215) 900-5565

This is not intended as individual legal advice and there is no attorney client relationship established by this answer. It is advisable that you seek individualized legal assistance. This is not a substitute for hiring an attorney.

Bryan Eugene DePowell Jr.

Bryan Eugene DePowell Jr.


I agree with my colleagues on this one. I also don't view this as an absolute jail sentence. Weight of the drugs is a big factor on whether or not you are incarcerated however, it isn't the only factor. You need an experienced attorney to help guide you in this case.

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