Why You Need a Strong Defense against Methamphetamine Charges
Methamphetamine, often referred to simply as “meth”, is a powerful and dangerous substance which can lead to periods of intense euphoria. Because these drugs are extremely addictive and cause other serious problems, including mood disturbances, long-term anxiety, and confusion, it is illegal to possess or sell them in Pennsylvania.
You can face meth charges at both the state and at the federal levels. The penalties upon conviction can be severe and depend largely upon the actual offense, the amount of meth you are in possession of, as well as your criminal history. Even first-time offenses can result in significant penalties, including substantial fines, probation, drug testing, and even jail time.
If you are facing state or federal drug charges, you should speak to a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. Your lawyer can explain what your charge is all about, as well as the potential penalties you could face if you are ultimately convicted. A lawyer can also explain your legal options to you and develop the best plan for moving forward with your case. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer, call Wimmer Criminal Defense Law today at 215-712-1212 or contact us online.
Consequences of a Conviction
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, and the federal government classifies it similarly. Depending upon the circumstances of your charge, you could be facing high monetary fines, jail time, and other serious penalties.
A first-time conviction for meth possession is typically classified as a misdemeanor offense, depending upon the amount of the drugs found in your possession. A conviction can result in a maximum of one year’s incarceration, along with a maximum monetary fine of $5,000. In addition to the potential fines and jail time, meth possession can also result in your driver’s license being revoked for six months or longer, depending upon the specific circumstances of the case. A subsequent criminal conviction for meth possession can lead to three years in jail, along with a $25,000 monetary fine.
If the offense involves delivering (or intending to deliver) meth, the potential sentences upon conviction can increase dramatically. If you are convicted of delivering or intending to deliver methamphetamine, you can be sentenced to the following penalties:
- Three years in jail for possessing between five and less than ten grams of meth (or five years of incarceration if you are convicted of a subsequent offense)
- Four years in jail if you are found in possession of between ten but less than 100 grams of meth (or seven years in jail if you are convicted of a second offense)
- Five years in jail if you possess 100 or more grams of meth (or eight years in jail if you are convicted of a second offense)
In addition to these legal penalties, you will also likely face personal and professional consequences. Your family relationships and friendships may suffer, as well as your professional reputation and contacts. Rebuilding your reputation following a drug conviction can be difficult and can impact you for many years to come.
Additional Charges Involving Methamphetamine
In addition to the significant criminal penalties listed above, you can be sentenced to harsher penalties based upon the specific circumstances of your case. For instance, if you are found delivering methamphetamine in a school zone, and you are convicted, you can be sentenced to a minimum of two years in jail.
Moreover, if you are convicted of selling or delivering methamphetamine to an underage minor, you can receive a one-year minimum prison sentence. This is true regardless of the amount of meth that is found in your possession. You may also be sentenced to additional penalties if you sell meth to a student while intending to facilitate the student’s habitual drug use.
Developing a Strong Defense to Your Drug Charge
Given the potential penalties and personal consequences following a drug conviction, it is essential that you develop a strong legal defense to your charge. The criminal defense legal team at Wimmer Criminal Defense Law can assist you with that. Potential defenses to a meth conviction include the following:
- That you were not in actual or constructive possession of the drug – You may be able to allege that the meth in question was not found on your person or in your immediate vicinity and that therefore, you were not in possession of the drug.
- Lack of knowledge – In court, you may be able to argue that you were not aware that the drug in question was meth – or that you were not aware of its presence. This defense is especially true if the meth was found in someone else’s home or motor vehicle where you happened to be a visitor or passenger.
- Constitutional violations – You may be able to allege that a search warrant which led to the discovery of the drugs in question was defective, that the officer who confiscated the drug did not have a warrant, or that probable cause was lacking in your case.
- Duress – In some instances, you may be able to contend that some other person threatened you or a loved one with serious bodily harm (or even death) if you did not carry out the drug crime.
- Entrapment – Finally, you may be able to allege that a police officer unlawfully coerced you into committing the drug crime, and that absent this unlawful coercion, you would never have committed the crime in the first place.
Call a Philadelphia Drug Charge Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a drug crime involving methamphetamine, the potential legal penalties and consequences are too severe to leave to chance. A robust legal defense can go a long way when it comes to pursuing dismissal of your criminal drug charge or mitigating the consequences you are facing. To schedule your free consultation and case evaluation with a skilled Philadelphia drug charge defense attorney, please call us today at 215-712-1212, or contact us online.