Philadelphia Drug Distribution Defense Lawyer
Drug crimes are among the most commonly charged offenses, but these charges are not always warranted or justified. A lawyer can help you fight these charges and clear your good name.
Drug distribution broadly encompasses crimes involving selling or furnishing drugs and controlled substances. Not only are charges related to distribution on the table, but they are often charged alongside other offenses like manufacturing drugs or possessing illegal paraphernalia. If you are arrested for a drug offense, you should invoke your rights to remain silent and have a lawyer present. An attorney can also advise you on the best way to defend yourself, as there might be various tactics worth exploring. In any case, do not wait to hire a lawyer. You should speak to one as soon as possible.
Schedule a free review of your case with our drug distribution defense lawyers by calling The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.
Criminal Charges for Drug Distribution in Philadelphia
Drug distribution may refer to various criminal charges involving the sale or disbursement of controlled substances. Offenses may involve alleged small-time drug dealers or large-scale trafficking schemes. In any case, drug-related criminal charges often come with harsh penalties.
One common charge is possession with the intent to deliver, sometimes referred to as PWID. To be charged, you must have some controlled substances in your possession unlawfully, and there must be a reason for the police to believe you intended to sell or distribute them. The police may use numerous factors to reach this conclusion, including the quantity or volume of controlled substances, how they are packaged, and where they are found.
Other charges often associated with distribution include the manufacture of controlled substances, weapons charges, and charges for allegedly dealing drugs to minors. The exact nature and penalties you might face depend on numerous factors, including the Schedule of the drug allegedly involved.
Controlled substance Schedules include 5 categories ranging from relatively mild substances to dangerously addictive drugs. The more severe the substance, the greater your charges might be. These drug schedules may include both illicit substances and prescription medicines.
What to Do After Being Arrested for Drug Distribution in Philadelphia
While it might be tempting to resist when the police take you into custody, this may only make the situation worse. The best thing you can do at that moment is to cooperate quietly and remain silent.
Just remember, the police cannot force you to talk to them beyond giving basic identifying information like your name and address. When you are taken into custody, the police might try to ask you questions. First, they should not ask you incriminating questions if they have not informed you of your Miranda rights. Second, do not talk to the police until you have a lawyer.
Once in custody, the police should inform you of Miranda rights, including your rights to remain silent and have a lawyer present. You should invoke both these rights clearly and directly. The police might try to convince you they only want to help, but you should avoid giving them any information without a lawyer.
You might be charged shortly after being arrested, and our drug distribution defense lawyers can begin working on the next steps, including your arraignment, bail, and preliminary hearing if you are charged with a felony.
Defending Yourself Against Charges for Drug Distribution in Philadelphia
The best defense tactics vary from case to case. What works for one defendant might not work for another. Various defense strategies might be worth exploring in your situation.
PWID vs. Simple Possession
One way to challenge your charges is to have them reduced to something less severe. For example, charges for simple possession tend to be minor and are often charged as misdemeanors. On the contrary, charges for PWID are much harsher and can be felonies.
PWID charges encompass the same criminal elements as simple possession, but there are additional elements that must be met for charges to stick. We can help you challenge these additional elements to keep your charges as low as possible.
To be charged with PWID, the police need some probable cause showing that you intended to distribute the alleged controlled substances. Probable cause might come from the volume of drugs, the way they are packaged, where they are found, or other factors within the totality of the circumstances. Often, the police need several factors to support their claims, not just one.
If the police lacked sufficient probable cause to believe you intended to distribute the alleged controlled substances, we can argue that the charges should be dismissed. In many cases, we can work out a plea deal with prosecutors to reduce the charges to simple possession.
Illegal Searches and Seizures
The Fourth Amendment prohibits law enforcement from conducting searches or seizing property without a valid warrant. However, certain exceptions exist that allow for warrantless searches and seizures. For example, if the police can see drugs in plain view and do not need to search, they may seize them without a warrant.
If the police searched your home or private space without a warrant, and you do not believe there was a valid exception to the warrant rule, we can help you fight the evidence. Evidence seized illegally is tainted and must not be used in court. If we can suppress evidence of controlled substances, the case against you may be severely weakened.
Lack of Evidence
Even if the police did everything by the book, they might still lack enough evidence to warrant criminal charges. The average person might be unfamiliar with what kind of evidence is necessary for criminal charges to stick, and the police might use their powers of intimidation to make you believe they have everything they need. An attorney can tell when charges are bogus.
When there is a lack of evidence, defendants can ask the court to dismiss their charges in a pretrial motion. We can help you submit a motion to dismiss for lack of evidence. If the court agrees, you might be let go. Depending on how the charges are dismissed, the prosecutor might be allowed to refile them if they come up with additional evidence.
Call Our Philadelphia Drug Distribution Defense Attorneys for Help
Schedule a free assessment of your case with our drug distribution defense attorneys by calling The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.