Overview of Drug Possession Charges in Pittsburgh

Overview of Drug Possession Charges in Pittsburgh

Drug possession in Pittsburgh opens the door to numerous charges, fines, and penalties. There are several drug-related charges that you can face in Pennsylvania, and the handling of your case can vary between counties in Western Pennsylvania. Whether you are in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, you will need an experienced drug possession attorney in Pittsburgh to help with your case.

What are the types of Drug Possession and Prohibited Acts Charges in Pittsburgh?

There are four major types of drug possession charges in Pittsburgh: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession With Intent to Deliver and Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana.

The type and seriousness of the charges you will face are dependent upon numerous factors, including whether or not there is evidence associated with drug dealing, the type and quantity of the drug recovered, and the presence of materials used to package or ingest drugs.

This is a simple overview on the difference between the various charges:

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of drug paraphernalia is an ungraded misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. The biggest difference between possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession is that you will not face a driver’s license suspension. For this reason, a plea or reduction to a drug paraphernalia offense can be preferred over a drug possession offense.

Generally speaking, drug paraphernalia is any item that can be used to store, measure, package or use drugs, which include:

  • Needles
  • Zip lock bags
  • Bongs
  • Blunts
  • Pipes
  • Marijuana Grinders
  • Straws
  • Digital Scales

Drug paraphernalia also includes devices that are intended for the purpose of planting, harvesting, growing, processing, testing, packing, storing, or injecting drugs. For more information, please visit our Possession of Drug Paraphernalia page.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Drug possession, otherwise referred to as simple possession, is an ungraded misdemeanor offense when there is no allegation that you were selling or manufacturing drugs. You can be charged with simple drug possession if you are found to be in possession of heroin, cocaine, more than 30 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of hashish, and unprescribed medications.

The penalties for simple drug possession include:

  • 1st offense: Maximum fine of up to $5,000 and maximum penalty of 1-year in jail, with a mandatory 6-month driver’s license suspension
  • 2nd offense: Maximum fine of up to $25,000 and maximum penalty of 3-years in jail, with a mandatory 1-year license suspension
  • 3rd and subsequent offenses: Maximum fine of up to $25,000 and maximum penalty of 3-years in jail, with a mandatory 2-year license suspension

For more information, please visit our Possession of a Controlled Substance overview page.

Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana

You may find yourself charged with the Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana if you are found to have possessed 30 grams or less of marijuana. A conviction for the Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana carries the following penalties:

  • 1st Offense: Up to 30 days in jail, mandatory 6-month license suspension and fine of $500, with a permanent criminal record
  • 2nd Offense: Up to 30 days in jail, mandatory 1-year license suspension, fine of $500, with a permanent criminal record
  • 3rd and Subsequent Offenses: Up to 30 days in jail, mandatory 2-year license suspension, fine of $500, with a permanent criminal record

For more information, please visit our Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana overview page.

Drug Dealing, Trafficking & Possession with Intent to Deliver

Drug dealing, trafficking, and drug possession with intent to deliver are serious felonies and one of the most frequently charged drug crimes. Fighting a case of this nature without a drug possession attorney in Pittsburgh can result in paying hefty fines and jail time. If you are facing any of these charges, your penalties will vary due to the type of drug(s) in your possession along with a variety of other factors.

Maximum penalties for possession with intent to deliver charges can range from 3-15 years in prison and fines ranging from $10,000 to $250,000.

For more information relating to drug dealing, trafficking, and possession with intent to deliver charges, visit our Possession With Intent to Deliver overview page.

Drug Possession Attorneys in Pittsburgh: Contact the Zuckerman Law Firm Today

The truth is that you simply can’t afford to represent yourself when facing serious drug charges. As a former drug crimes prosecutor and experienced drug possession defense lawyer in Pittsburgh, the Zuckerman Law Firm can help defend your case. Contact us today for your free consultation at 412-447-5580.