Philadelphia Fentanyl Possession Attorney
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Pennsylvania saw a substantial increase in fentanyl overdose deaths between 2016 and 2017, with a rise of 16.9 percent. Since fentanyl and synthetic fentanyl drugs are highly addictive and deadly, it is no wonder why the State of Pennsylvania and the entire nation take the sale and possession of these drugs so seriously.
Possession of fentanyl is often charged as a result of possession of heroin. If you have been charged with fentanyl possession in Philadelphia, you need a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney who will protect your rights and fight to resolve your case as favorably as possible. Serious charges demand the help of a skilled legal team who will fight to defend your case. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with attorney Lauren Wimmer.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid drug. It works by attaching itself to the opioid receptors, which are the pain regulators in your body. This powerful class of drugs can cause euphoria, widespread numbness, and cause the brain to release endorphins. Because of these factors, opioids are highly addictive. While opioid drugs like fentanyl are used by some doctors to treat severe pain, they are illegal when not prescribed.
Fentanyl Possession in Pennsylvania
The possession of fentanyl and synthetic fentanyl-like drugs is illegal under Pennsylvania law and federal law. In fact, you could be charged with both federal and state crimes for possession of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a Schedule II opioid, and Fentanyl derivatives are Schedule I opioids. It is illegal to possess any scheduled drug unless you are registered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as in you are a pharmacist or a doctor, or you have a prescription for the drug.
To have a valid case against you, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You knowingly and deliberately had control of the illegal drug
- You were aware that the drug is illegal, that the drugs were present, and you planned to use or control them
- You either had actual or constructive possession the drug – for example, you had the drug on you, such as in your pocket, or in a place that you had control over, like the glove box of your car or hidden under your closet
When a skilled Philadelphia criminal defense attorney represents you, the prosecution should have to work to prove these elements in your case. In some cases, it may be possible to have the evidence gathered suppressed, which often results in a dismissal of all charges.
Legal Penalties for Fentanyl Possession
Mandatory sentencing rules apply to drug possession charges. Penalties for drug possession can vary based on factors such as:
- Criminal history, including previous felonies or drug charges
- Family background
- Work situation
- Educational history
- Notable accomplishments such as military service
- Any aggravating factors relating to the crime
Possession of Schedule I or II drugs can lead to a sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Additionally, upon conviction, your driver’s license will be suspended for six months. If it is your second offense, you will lose your license for one year, and subsequent offenses will require a license suspension of two years.
Other Consequences for Fentanyl Possession
Being convicted of a drug crime can have a far-reaching impact on your life. Outside of the legal penalties you could face, a drug possession conviction can lead to other consequences in your work and personal life or the loss of your driver’s license. You may have difficulties getting a job, trouble maintaining your current employment, and problems getting into college. You may also lose custodial rights over your children or even have problems in your relationships. Fortunately, by mounting a strong defense, an attorney can help mitigate the short and long-term consequences of your criminal case.
You’ve Been Arrested on Charges of Fentanyl Possession: Now What?
If you are under arrest for possessing fentanyl or possession with the intent to distribute (PWID) in Pennsylvania, you should contact a knowledgeable Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your attorney can use his or her experience with the criminal justice system and with the prosecution to try and lessen your charges or have them dismissed. Whatever you do, do not speak to police or prosecutors unless your criminal defense attorney is present with you.
A Philadelphia criminal defense attorney like Lauren A. Wimmer will review the circumstances of your charges and arrest, including if there was probable cause to charge you with fentanyl possession. This is especially important if you were arrested while you were in your car because law enforcement officers must have probable cause to conduct a search. If the officers lacked probable cause, the evidence they obtained may be inadmissible in court.
Significant Fentanyl Possession Cases in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has seen its fair share of severe fentanyl possession cases. Recent cases include:
- A Houston, PA woman who was found in possession of fentanyl, cocaine and multiple firearms and faces at least ten years in prison and a fine of not more than $11,500,000 or both
- A McKees Rocks man possessing heroin and fentanyl who was sentenced in federal court to 33 months in prison and six years of supervised release
- A Johnston man faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,00 or both for charges related to distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute several drugs mixed with fentanyl
- A couple from Garfield was charged with distribution of heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analog
- A Reading man was convicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute, and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute, 40 grams or more of fentanyl
Are You Facing Fentanyl Possession Charges? Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in Philadelphia Today
If you are charged with possession of fentanyl or Possession with the Intent to Distribute (PWID) in Pennsylvania, it’s advisable to reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in as soon as possible. When you hire an experienced attorney, you increase your chances of avoiding severe penalties, and you might even have your charges dropped. Attorney Lauren Wimmer has successfully assisted many clients with fentanyl possession charges in both state and federal court by determining the best possible defense and taking their case to trial when necessary. If you are arrested and charged with PWID in Philadelphia, Delaware County, Bucks County, Montgomery County or possession in Camden County and the surrounding areas, contact Lauren A. Wimmer to discuss your case.
Ready to schedule your legal consultation with a dedicated criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia who will advocate for your rights? Call Wimmer Criminal Defense Law today at 215-712-1212 or use our convenient online contact form.