Pennsylvania Drug Trafficking / Distribution Laws
Drug trafficking or distribution in Pennsylvania is often termed “Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance.” Controlled substances include illegal drugs and narcotics (i.e. marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc.) To prove a case for drug trafficking or distribution, a prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant manufactured, grew or obtained an illegal drug and then delivered it to another person or intended to deliver it to another person in Pennsylvania.
It is important to note that even if the defendant did not have the intent to distribute or deliver the drugs to another person, the prosecutor may still charge the defendant with possession of the drugs. This is a separate offense but is also covered by the same law governing drug trafficking.
The charge for drug trafficking/distribution in Pennsylvania is typically a felony, even if it is the first time that the defendant is found guilty of this offense. The factors determining the severity of the charge are the type of drug, the amount found in possession, and the classification the state puts them in. Drug trafficking can carry prison sentences of seven to twenty years in prison. In certain situations, a prosecutor may agree to a plea bargain for a lesser charge in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty or for information for a higher priority investigation.