Philadelphia Cocaine Distribution + PWID Defense Lawyer
Being charged with the possession of cocaine is a serious matter. Philadelphia and the state is especially tough on the possession and distribution of cocaine. Being arrested for the possession of cocaine can have a variety of penalties. These penalties often depend upon the amount of cocaine you are arrested with and what law enforcement believes you were going to do with it. If you or a loved one is facing a cocaine possession charge, now is the time to contact a Philadelphia cocaine defense attorney.
Criminal lawyer Lloyd Long has years of experience defending clients facing complex felony drug charges, including serious drug-related crimes such as multi-kilo cocaine trafficking and cocaine base manufacturing. We have had great success defending cocaine charges in both state and federal court and have the ability to move quickly to secure our client’s defense and ensure that all legal options are available to them. For a free consultation about cocaine charges in Philadelphia, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 today.
Types of Cocaine Charges in Philadelphia
The possession, sale, and trafficking of cocaine is illegal in Pennsylvania and every other state. When facing cocaine charges, it is important for the defendant to understand the difference between possession for personal use, which is called simple possession, and possession with the intent to deliver, which is sometimes abbreviated to PWID.
Simple possession of cocaine in Philadelphia is described as knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance by an individual who is not licensed or registered to possess such a substance. A simple possession charge holds the assumption that the cocaine held by a defendant was intended for personal use. Cocaine is currently classified as a Schedule II drug.
Possession with intent to deliver is described as knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance for the purpose of distributing it to other parties.
Possession charges can further be categorized as “actual possession,” which means the defendant allegedly had cocaine on his or her person, and “constructive possession,” which means the defendant allegedly had control over cocaine inside a house, vehicle, or other accessible location. Different penalties for these crimes may apply depending on the circumstances of the case.
Criminal Penalties for Cocaine Possession in Philadelphia
Philadelphia takes a tough stance on drug crimes involving . Under federal and state laws, cocaine possession is treated far more harshly than the possession of marijuana. There are varying penalties for the possession of cocaine, including:
- Simple Possession – The simple possession of cocaine will result in a penalty of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine for $5,000, or both. Subsequent offenses of cocaine possession can imprison you for up to three years and charge you $25,000 in fees or both.
- Possession with Intent to Distribute – A PWID charge for cocaine can carry a penalty of up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine for less than two grams of cocaine. Penalties depend on the quantity of cocaine, as described below.
- Two to 10 grams of cocaine – This amount of cocaine carries a minimum of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Over 10 grams to 100 grams of cocaine – This amount of cocaine carries a minimum of four years in prison.
Federal cocaine trafficking offenses carry much stiffer penalties than Philadelphia laws for PWID. Offenses involving crack cocaine carry higher penalties in both Pennsylvania courts and federal courts.
Even if a defendant is not in possession of cocaine itself, he or she may still be charged with the possession of cocaine paraphernalia, the definition of which is extremely broad under the Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device and Cosmetic Act. Paraphernalia is defined to include “all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use or designed for use” in:
An item can also be branded as drug paraphernalia if it is capable of “introducing into the human body a controlled substance.” Some specific examples of cocaine paraphernalia include vials and miniature spoons. The courts consider numerous factors when determining whether an object is paraphernalia, including but not limited to statements by the alleged owner, whether the alleged owner has prior drug convictions, and whether the alleged paraphernalia has any cocaine residue on it already.
Our Philadelphia Cocaine Defense Lawyer Is Ready to Fight for You
A cocaine-related conviction can have negative consequences for all areas of your life. If you have a criminal record, you may be prevented from traveling abroad, owning a firearm, entering certain professions, or being approved for certain loans. Of course, these penalties pale in comparison to the heavy fines and years of prison time that may be ordered by the court.
Get experienced and aggressive legal representation from our Philadelphia cocaine distribution defense attorney if you or a family member has been charged with possessing or selling cocaine. Contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long online for a free consultation, or call us 24 hours a day at (215) 302-0171.