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Int poss contr subst by per not reg, does this carry an automatic license suspension?

Wilkes Barre, PA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

Officer who arrested me told me that if I plead guilty at preliminary hearing all I will recieve is a fine and that if I plan to do that then I don't need lawyer. I have a prior misdemeanor procession charge.

Attorney Answers 3


The drug possession charge you reference does carry a license suspension upon conviction or guilty plea. Additionally, it is a recidivist offense for license suspension purposes, which means the license suspension increases for multiple convictions.

You should seek a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area to obtain a full understanding of your rights and options.

The information provided herein neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor should it be used or relied upon to make any decision in your case. You should consult with an attorney to obtain a full evaluation of your case.

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The Officer is wrong and Mr. Curry is correct (surprisingly!). Knowing and Intentional possession of a controlled substance (possession of drugs--marijuana, cocaine, heroin, pills, etc.) does carry with it a license suspension. And, as Mr. Curry informed you, it increases with additional convictions for the same offense. The license suspension is six months for the first conviction, and upon conviction of a second offense, one year. A third and any subsequent conviction for drug possession will result in a license suspension of two years.

Additionally, the maximum penalty increases if you are convicted a second time. For a first time offender of possession of drugs, the maximum penalty is 1 year (meaning you could get one year or less probation or you could get a jail sentence of 6-12 months or less). But, in your situation, if convicted of a second offense, the maximum penalty goes up to 3 years. So, you could receive up to 3 years probation or even an incarceration sentence up to 1 1/2 to 3 years.

I am not suggesting that you are looking at jail time for your case as I know nothing about the facts of the case or your background. But, you should be aware of your maximum exposure if you plead guilty or go to trial and you're found guilty. It remains an ungraded misdemeanor whether it's a first or subsequent offense.

I hope this sheds a bit more light on your situation. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. I wish you all the best.

Brian M. Fishman

The posting of an answer to this question in no way creates an attorney-client relationship between myself and any reader. I always suggest you contact and hire a lawyer to receive legal advice.

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Perhaps the officer is suggesting that he will drop the possession charge if you plead guilty to a summary offense like Disorderly Conduct at the Preliminary Hearing, or maybe Paraphernalia. Neither of those charges carries a suspension. Talk with a good Pennsylvania Drug Lawyer to make sure that you make the right move.
Steven F. Fairlie, Esq.
Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
1501 Lower State Road, Suite 304
North Wales, PA 19454
voice: (215) 997-1000
fax: (215) 997-1777

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