PA- punishment if caught with 18 grams , bagged individually,of marijuana in your car. First time ever in trouble

Asked 12 months ago - Collegeville, PA

The charge is felony drug trafficing/posession with the intent to sell. I need to know what the differnce is. Also i realize this is the charge, has not gone to court yet. This is a good kid, who has never been in trouble. He is currently a college student and is very scared about this being a felony/ and going to jail

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Adam D. Zucker

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . It depends where the arrest occured. I have handled a lot of these cases for college kids and to be frank its is scary how they are treated. If it is a school zone case then he could face a felony conviction and a two year mandatory minimum sentence. Keep in mind that in PA a college campus is considered a school zone. I see that your location in the post is Collegeville, which is in Montgomery County PA. The Montgomery County DA likes to say " Sale means Jail" How much time is another story. Recently even cooperation has become somewhat unpredictiable. There are options however and with the right approach he could minimize the impct of the case. There is a possiblity that the charges could be reduced in grading but there is not enough information to say. The best thing the young man and his family can do is retain counsel as soon as possilbe. He should not communicate with the police or anyone else without first consulting with counsel.

    Adam D. Zucker, Esq.
    Mudrick & Zucker, P.C.
    Conshohocken & Lansdale

    This information does not create an attorney /client relationship and should not be use or relied upon to make any... more
  2. Robert C. Keller

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . It is very important that a local criminal defense attorney be retained to represent your son. There is much at stake so he needs an experienced lawyer.

  3. Daniel M. Myshin

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . I agree with my Pennsylvania colleagues who advise this young man to immediately retain an experienced criminal defense attorney and not speak to anyone else until he does. The attorney can review the criminal complaint with him and advise both of you of the elements of each charge and the statutory penalties for each. If the young man cannot afford to hire competent counsel, he should apply to the public defender's office to determine if he qualifies for their assistance. Good luck!

  4. Theodor Kaplun

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . These charges are serious, nothing more should be said on a public forum such as avvo, my suggestion is that you speak to a criminal defense attorney to help determine your best course of action.

    The above answer is for information only; and does NOT constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute,... more
  5. Thomas J. Wagner

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Lawyers looking to know what evidence exists that the person intended to sell. The prosecution will undoubtedly argue that individual packaging indicates an intent to sell and may even bring in a narcotics officer as an "expert" witness to offer an opinion to that effect. The evidence of intent to sell is crucial in this case. If there is no intent to sell then the crimes falls within subsection (a) (31) of the Controlled Substance statutes which provides "Notwithstanding other subsections of this section, (i) the possession of a small amount of marihuana only for personal use; (ii) the possession of a small amount of marihuana with the intent to distribute it but not to sell it; or (iii) the distribution of a small amount of marihuana but not for sale.
    For purposes of this subsection, thirty (30) grams of marihuana or eight (8) grams of hashish shall be considered a small amount of marihuana." The maximum penalty for this ungraded misdemeanor is 20 days and/or up to a $500.00 fine.. This person should consult with a competent criminal lawyer. If convicted with intent to sell, a felony, and within a school zone there is a possibility that the prosecution will seek a 2 year mandatory minimum sentence in a state correctional institution.

  6. Peter Christian Komar

    Contributor Level 14

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree hire an experienced attorney, is he being charged with intent to distribute?

  7. Mark Copoulos

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . It doesn't help that the weed was bagged individually. This makes a stronger case for a Possession With Intent to Deliver. He needs to avoid pleading to a felony at all costs. Retain a criminal defense attorney who is a fighter. You need someone to negotiate with the DA for the best deal possible, and possibly litigate the matter.

    This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The response is intended,... more

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