Chester County Marijuana Crimes Lawyer
Learn about Marijuana and how its use, growth and possession is prosecuted in Pennsylvania, including West Chester PA and Chester County. The controversy over Marijuana’s legalization would not be a controversy if it was not popularly used in the United States by individuals of all ages including minors, college students and older adults.
It is believed that it is the third most popular recreational drug in the US behind only alcohol and tobacco and some reports suggest that over 25 percent of the population has tried or experimented with pot. Reports suggest that marijuana has been used by over twenty five million Americans in the past year and that over fourteen million americans are regular users.
Marijuana is commonly ingested by rolling loose marijuana into a cigarette called a “joint”. Weed can be smoked in a water pipe, called a “bong”, or mixed into food or brewed as tea. It has also appeared in cigars called “blunts”.Marijuana, also known as weed, cannabis, or pot, is among the most commonly used drugs in Pennsylvania. Although marijuana has proven to have medical benefits and limited health risks, the laws regarding its use can be extremely harsh.
If you are charged with committing a marijuana crime in Pennsylvania, you can be subjected to a variety of penalties. These penalties include fines, time behind bars, a suspended driver’s license, and limitations on employment and educational opportunities. Worse yet, being found with even a relatively small amount of marijuana could result in charges of possession with intent to distribute or drug dealing. Are you willing to put yourself at the mercy of the police and prosecution?
It is time to avoid having your life flipped upside down by a marijuana offense. Look to a team of lawyers with over 40 years of combined experienced. Look to more than just one lawyer or just one hope; speak to a member of our marijuana defense team who can help defend you against these chargesin Chester County and throughout Philadelphia.
Chester County Marijuana Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Newton Square, Exton, Norristown, Downingtown, Coatesville, Willow Street, or Southeastern Pennsylvania, contact Ciccarelli Law Offices. The team of skilled defense attorneys at the firm is knowledgeable in all laws regarding marijuana offenses and will work hard to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected throughout the legal process.
To ensure that you have a dedicated team of defense attorneys on your side, contact Ciccarelli Law Offices today at (610) 692-8700. We have offices in Lancaster, Philadelphia, West Chester, Plymouth Meeting, Kennett Square, King of Prussia, Radnor, and Malvern, which allows us to serve clients throughout the greater Philadelphia region. Call us to set up a consultation on your marijuana charges today.
The Origin of Marijuana
Marijuana is a dry, shredded mix of flowers, stems, seeds and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. People usually smoke it as a cigarette or in a pipe. It is believed to be the most commonly abused illegal drug in suburban Philadelphia including West Chester PA (Chester County). It comes from hemp and contacts a small amount (less than 1%) of THC tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. THC is what makes you high. As a result of THC, marijuana is commonly viewed as a mild hallucinogen that can also act as a depressant or a stimulant. In addition to his recreational use, hemp can also be used in the making of paints, textiles clothing, paper, plastics, foodstuffs, animal feed and insulation.
Marijuana by Any Other Name
In addition to canabis, marijuana and pot, this controlled substance which use, cultivating and possession is illegal in Pennsylvania goes by many other names including but not limited to: Blunt, dope, ganja, grass, herb, joint, bud, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, green, trees, smoke, sinsemilla, skunk, weed, hash, tea, chronic, and 420.
Part of the controversy over Marijuana Use in West Chester PA includes not only whether it is a gateway drug but its health ramifications. This in light of the fact that around 50,000 people die from alcohol poisoning and more than 400,000 deaths are attributed to smoking. There does not seem to be any controversy regarding the dangers of alcohol or tobacco use though experts are split as to whether marijuana has long term harmful effects.
Though you would be surprised to hear a respected expert at the University of Pennsylvania, or Villanova University or West Chester University extol the health benefits of tobacco or alcohol, there is research that justifies the health benefits of marijuana or canabis; including pain relief from neurpathic pain, and as a powerful appetite stimulant for patients treating from HIV, cancer, and dementia. On the other hand, it is believed that marijuana can have a negative effect on the young, including structural and functional deficits of the brain; causing communication and verbal deficits, and learning disability.
Marijuana Penalties in Pennsylvania
Contact our experienced team if you are facing marijuana charges. A marijuana crime can include direct or constructive possession of marijuana, growing or cultivating a marijuana plant(s), transporting, sharing, distributing or selling marijuana or conspiring with others. You can also be charged and convicted with possession of drug paraphernalia for items used with your marijuana including a pot pipe or the baggie containing the “weed.” A conviction for a Marijuana Offense in pennsylvania as possible severe penalties which could include:
- a permanent criminal record for your marijuana offense
- loss of driver license privileges for marijuana possession or delivery
- significant period of probation and fines
- electronic monitoring or work release
- and/or incarceration including jail or prison time
Penalties for Marijuana Crimes in Pennsylvania
- Marijuana Simple Possession (30g or less) (Misdemeanor) Punishable up to Thirty Days/$500 fine
- Marijuana Simple Distribution (30g or less without monetary exchange) (Misdemeanor) Punishable up to Thirty Days/$500.00
- Marijuana Possession (More than 30g) (Misdemeanor) Punishable up to One Year/$5000.00 fine
- Marijuana PWID (Sale, Delivery or Distribution) 1,000 lbs or less of marijuana is a felony punishable from one to three years in Pennsylvania State Prison, up to statutory maximum of five years and fines from $5000.00 to $25,000.00
- Marijuana PWID (Sale, Delivery or Distribution) of more than 1,000 lbs of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison, and a fine up to $100,000.
- School Zone Violation: Marijuana PWID (Sale, Delivery or Distribution) marijuana within 1,000 ft of a school, or within 250 ft. of a recreational playground, is punishable by two to four years in prison.
- Marijuana PWID to Minor (Sale, Delivery or Distribution) of marijuana to a minor when the seller is over the age of 21 is felony with double the possible penalties for the amount of marijuana sold.
Any second or subsequent marijuana offense conviction increases the possible penalties to twice those for first time offenders. A prior drug conviction can carry a minimum mandatory prison sentence of Three years for convicted PWID Marijuana charges.
Change in Public Opinion on Marijuana
Though Pennsylvania remains one of the vigilant states on prosecuting marijuana charges, a change is seen nationally on the current policy criminalizing Marijuana use. Some public polls suggest that more than half of the public thinks marijuana should be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes and almost 20 states have approved marijuana for medical use. It remains illegal in Pennsylvania and also remains a serious federal crime. While not publicly approving of Marijuana the U.S. President has recently stated that prosecution of recreational pot use should not be a top priority and Governor of NY and Mayor of Philadelphia has suggested considered how these cases are prosecuted.
Pennsylvania Marijuana Defense Info
- Pennsylvania Marijuana Charges
- Defenses to Marijuana Crimes in Chester County
- Drug Diversion Program in West Chester
- West Chester Marijuana Defense Resources
Pennsylvania Marijuana Charges
If an individual is convicted of possessing more than 30 grams of marijuana, he or she could be sentenced to up to a year of imprisonment, along with a fine of up to $5,000. For amounts less than 30 grams, individuals face up to 30 days in jail and a potential fine of up to $500.
Possession with Intent to Deliver
This offense includes the cultivation, transportation, and selling of controlled substances. If convicted of this offense, individuals face up to five years in prison and a fine between $5,000 and $25,000. If 1,000 pounds or more of weed was involved, the punishment can be enhanced to up to 10 years behind bars with a fine of up to $100,000.
Possession of Paraphernalia
Possession of marijuana paraphernalia carries a potential jail sentence of up to a year, along with up to a $2,500 fine.
Defenses to Marijuana Crimes in Chester County
Anytime an individual is charged with possession of marijuana, the most important aspect of the case for the prosecution is proving that the individual actually possessed marijuana. In instances where an officer conducted a search and found marijuana in your pocket, vehicle, or home, the prosecution must be able to show that the officer had probable cause to believe you committed a crime. If the prosecution is unable to prove that there was enough probable cause to conduct a search, your charges could potentially be dropped or reduced.
Other defenses for marijuana crimes include:
- Violation of constitutional rights
- Improper procedure by law arresting officer
- Lack of or insufficient evidence
- No proof that the individual was in actual possession of marijuana
Once charged with a marijuana offense, it is important to seek legal representation immediately. Your attorney may be able to help you avoid time behind bars by point out the prosecutions lack of evidence or proving that a law enforcement official violated your constitutional rights.
Drug Diversion Program in West Chester
First time offenders of marijuana crimes may be able to enter a drug diversion program in West Chester. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, your defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution and get them to agree to let you enter this program. After completing this program, the charges against you will be dismissed and you will avoid having a criminal record.
Your West Chester criminal defense attorney can advocate for you to be admitted into the program if you decided this is your best option.
West Chester Marijuana Defense Resources
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws: This national organization advocates for sensible policy on marijuana use.
Philly NORML: This the local Philadelphia chapter of the national organization.
Fighting Cannabis Charges in West Chester
If you are facing charges for a crime involving marijuana in Newton Square, Exton, Downingtown, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Willow Street, or Coatesville, it is important to ensure that you have the right team behind you. The team of attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices are dedicated to fighting for the rights and freedom of individuals who have been arrested for marijuana crimes.
Contact us today at (610) 692-8700 to set up a consultation on your case. The attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices are ready to serve you, and will work tirelessly to help you avoid the most serious penalties associated with your alleged offense.
Experienced Pennsylvania Drug Crime Lawyer
Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices when you need an experienced defense lawyer to fight your Marijuana Possession Charges. We look forward to fight for your rights before, during and after an arrest. Our reputation for successful defense strategy and tactics coupled with one-one-one client interaction makes us the Pennsylvania defense attorneys of choice for individuals facing serious felony and misdemeanor criminal charges.
We represent clients charged with such Pennsylvania drug offenses as:
- Marijuana Possession Charges
- Small Amount of Marijuana or “pot”
- Drug Paraphernalia including, pot pipes, baggies, needles, scales, etc.
- Cultivating, Manufacturing, Growing or Possession of Marijuana Plants
- Juvenile Drug Crimes including possession or delivery in a school
- School Zone Sentencing Enhancements
Ciccarelli Law offices defends individuals and their families facing serious drug related offenses including drug and narcotics crimes, possession and delivery or trafficking crimes in Pennsylvania. Our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers have been handling drug cases for more than 30 years and look to help clients avoid having these charges lead to serious jail time and a permanent mark on their criminal record. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania Attorney at Ciccarelli Lawyers, by contacting us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.