In Pennsylvania, defendants who are facing federal drug charges have legal avenues to prevent a conviction. The circumstances of their arrest could present possible defenses to eliminate or at least lower the penalties. The following is an assessment of information about these offenses with federal drug charges lawyers in Lebanon County, PA.

Possible Defenses for Drug Possession

These defenses start with a lack of intent or knowledge. The defendant who is unaware of drug laws could receive a reduced sentence in some circumstances due to mental incapacity or their age. The penalties could be reduced if the defendant didn’t have an amount of the drug that qualifies as a criminal offense. If the controlled substances were prescribed by their doctor, the person may be able to avoid a conviction.

What Penalties Apply to These Offenses?

The lowest charge connected to marijuana is the possession of less than thirty grams, which equates to a misdemeanor. Penalties are thirty days in prison and a fine of $500. If the defendant is arrested with narcotic drugs, they could face at least fifteen years in a federal prison with fines that could range up to $250,000. If the charges are related to selling controlled substances around a school, they will face additional penalties.

Crimes Related to Prescription Medications

A defendant could avoid a conviction if they are in possession of a controlled substance that was prescribed by their doctor. However, if the prescription is stolen and they plan to acquire more of the controlled substance, they face criminal charges for fraud and the use of forged instruments. These offenses can lead to more severe penalties based on the total quantity of the drug acquired and the individual’s intent. The sale of prescription narcotics to someone who wasn’t prescribed is a felony offense.

In Pennsylvania, defendants facing federal drug charges need a strong line of defense. Their attorney must know the full circumstances of their arrest to determine if an applicable defense is available. Defendants who need legal assistance should contact federal drug charges lawyers in Lebanon County, PA through the Law Office of Melissa R. Montgomery for more information.