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Attorney answers 4


On one hand I understand this type of very common inquiry; in the other hand it amazes me. Unless you have decided for some unkown reason to plead guilty on your own, why wouldn't you be gocused on avoiding a third conviction ir at least mitigating the damage. You, of course, di both of those things by having an experienced drug defense attorney. Start talking to siutable lawyers privately now. Good luck.


You are looking at a state sentence and there may be a 2 year mando. You need to immediately retain an experienced criminal defense attorney and to not put out any more information on a public site.


This really depends upon whether this is a PWID or a simple possession. Given the amount, you are probably looking at a PWID and facing a 2 year mando. There may be some things that can be worked out and there may be some defenses. You need an experienced attorney to review and handle your case.

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.


While I agree with the previous attorneys who strongly recommend that you seek and obtain an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney to represent you, I believe that you may actually be facing more time than has been expressed. I'm assuming from the caption of your question that the drug that you sold to an undercover officer is heroin. And, if the true weight of the heroin involved is over 1 gram then you are facing a mandatory minimum state sentence as the mandatory minimum for heroin kicks in at 1 gram. However, because you are a recidivist (meaning you have been convicted of possession with intent to deliver in the past), then you face a mandatory minimum of three years of state incarceration if you are convicted of selling over 1 gram of heroin.

That does not mean that if your case gets past the preliminary hearing that the initial offer by the Philadelphia DA's Office will be 3-6 years. They will likely offer you a bit less if you're willing to accept responsibility and plead guilty early in the process. But, with two prior PWIDs, I would not expect an offer that would be much less than the 3-6 year mando. Especially, if they have a strong case because you sold directly to an undercover police officer.

If there are viable motions to suppress or defenses to the case then you obviously want to explore those first as Mr. Jones indicated because a conviction will clearly lead to a significant state sentence. Another possibility worth exploring, but the DA may not be willing to offer it, is entry into the State Intermediate Punishment Program. It's a 24 month program where you serve about 8-9 months in a state prison, you're then released to an in-patient drug facility for a period of time and then slowly stepped down to out-patient and parole. The entire program is only 24 months and you would not have to serve nearly as much time upstate. However, in order to qualify for it, you must demonstrate to the Department of Corrections that while you sell, you do so to support a drug habit and are in need of drug treatment. I don't know if that applies to you.

In any event, your best bet is to seek out a criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience handling drug cases in Philadelphia so that all options can be explored. If you have any questions, 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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