Drug Possession Defense Attorney for UPenn Students

The penalties and consequences of being arrested for drug possession can vary depending on the circumstances. However, if you are enrolled in a prestigious ivy-league institution like the University of Pennsylvania, an arrest for any type of drug could severely impact your academic career and personal life. If you or a family member was arrested for drug possession as a UPenn student, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia drug possession defense attorney today.

At the Law Offices of Lloyd Long, we are determined to help you pursue the desired outcome for your case. We recognize that criminal proceedings can cause a person to experience stress and many other emotions, and we are here for you in your time of need. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.

Drug Possession Offenses and Penalties for Students

The weight and type of drugs in a defendant’s possession is an important factor of any drug-based crime. The drugs that a defendant is arrested with will often determine what penalties a defendant can be subjected to if they are found guilty of the offense. For example, being arrested with a small amount of marijuana will undoubtedly have different penalties than being arrested with a small amount of heroin.

The following is a list of offenses and penalties that a defendant is subject to depending on the drugs discovered in their possession.

Marijuana Possession

While there is a push to decriminalize marijuana possession in Philadelphia, marijuana still qualifies as a Schedule I substance. This means that even possession of a small amount of marijuana can cause you problems if you are arrested as a student of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Small Amount of Marijuana Program (SAM) has been instituted in Philadelphia. Under the laws of this program, a defendant that was arrested with less than 30 grams of marijuana may be eligible lighter penalties than those other counties of Pennsylvania may impose. Specifically, the SAM program allows a defendant to pay a $25 fine instead of being sentenced to jail after a conviction. The SAM program also offers $100 fines or community service for defendants that were caught using marijuana in public.

Alternatively, if a defendant is not eligible for the SAM program, and they happen to have more than 30 grams of marijuana in their possession, the defendant can be charged with a third degree misdemeanor. In Pennsylvania, a third degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in prison and $2,000 in criminal fines.

Additionally, if a defendant is arrested with a large amount of marijuana in his possession, law enforcement may seek to charge him with possession with intent to distribute (PWID). The penalties for a PWID offense can result in several years in prison and thousands in fines.

Possession of Prescription Drugs

Possessing prescription drugs is another offense that may carry steep penalties. A person can be arrested for possession of prescription drugs if they carry medication that they have not been legally prescribed by a doctor.

Opioids are a common type of drug that many defendants are arrested for possessing. These drugs are intended to treat pain but can be misused for a number of reasons. Illegally possessing an opioid-like oxycodone can result in a defendant being charged with a first degree misdemeanor. If convicted, first degree misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Possession of Cocaine

Like other types of possession offenses, the possession of cocaine can be categorized into simple possession or PWID. When determining whether a person should be charged with simple possession of cocaine, law enforcement will primarily look at the following two factors:

  • Weight of the cocaine found in the defendant’s possession
  • Whether the cocaine was packaged in a certain manner to make it easier to sell

Heavy weight in drugs and packaging in various small containers typically results in an intent to distribute offense. If the defendant is deemed to have cocaine for personal use, the defendant’s criminal history and the amount of drugs will play a factor in determining the penalties.

If convicted, first-time offenders are subject to one year in prison, $5,000 in fines, and the suspension of their driver’s license. Second- and third-time offenders will be subject to more years in prison. It is also important to note that if cocaine is seized in its crack cocaine form, the penalties for possession may be drastically increased.

If you are worried about how possession of drugs could affect your academic career at UPenn, you should waste no time in speaking with an experienced attorney. Not only can we help with criminal proceedings, but we can also assist you with hearings held by your university.

Work with an Experienced Philadelphia Drug Possession Lawyer for UPenn Students You Can Trust

If you were arrested with drugs in your possession at the University of Pennsylvania, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney today. Criminal defense attorney Lloyd Long possesses a wealth of experience litigating various types of drug cases, and he would be honored to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.

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