Erie County Drug Crimes

Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID)

Possession with Intent Deliver: the mandatory sentencing guidelines you could face are severe.  At The Veitch Law Firm, we work diligently from day one to identify issues and formulate a strategy to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.   Drug Defense Lawyer Jeffrey Veitch will utilize his knowledge and experience to implement an effective strategy from the inception of our representation of you.

Your defense truly starts at the  Preliminary Hearing , where we will build a solid foundation for your defense. Generally, when dealing with felony drug charges, it is critical that this hearing be litigated and recorded. When you have been accused of Felony Possession With Intent to Deliver or Drug Delivery, it is imperative that you have a defense attorney with knowledge and experience in handling drug cases.  In order to properly defend you, your attorney must not only understand what the prosecution has to prove, but how they will attempt to prove it. Attorney Veitch has the knowledge and experience you need.

The Key to Effective Drug Defense: Illegal Searches & Seizures

Effective defense of Drug charges comes down to effective motions practice. Unless your counsel has the knowledge and experience fighting these difficult cases at Omnibus motion hearings, your chances for success are minimal. In DRUG Defense, even when the facts may be against you, the law may be on your side.  The most important factor in most drug possession cases may not be how much, or what kind of drugs, but rather how the drugs were discovered by the police. Attorney Veitch is a Drug Defense lawyer skilled in identifying and arguing “suppression issues” challenging illegal search and seizures.  For instance, was there an illegal traffic stop?  Did the police lawfully search your home or vehicle?   Was the warrant defective?  Jeff  knows the questions to ask in order to meaningfully identify and develop your drug defense.

Felony Drug Crime Mandatory Sentences In Pennsylvania, many of the felony drug laws require severe mandatory sentencing guidelines based upon the individual facts of the case such as the following below:

The Drug (cocaine v. heroin v. marijuana v. prescription) each category of drugs carry varying penalties ;

The Weight/The Number Sentencing guidelines can be dependent on of the weight of the drug, the # of live plants, the number of pills.

Location/Location/Location the location of the transaction or arrest, school zones etc; and/or,

GUNS whether a gun was possessed or in close proximity to the drugs at the time of the transaction or arrest can carry huge mandatory sentences regardless of all of the factors listed above.

Youth/School Zone Mandatory Sentences & Enhancements

In addition to the risks of a potential weight mandatory, a person accused of Drug Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver could face a School Zone Mandatory based upon the location of the sale. In PA, if a drug delivery occurs or drugs are possessed with the intent to deliver within 1000 feet of school property, you could face a mandatory minimum 2 year state prison sentence even if you have no prior drug convictions or prior criminal record. Moreover, Youth/School Enhancements may apply under the same circumstances of a School Zone Mandatory.  Ultimately, if drugs are sold or possessed with the intent to sell them within 1000 feet of school property, the standard penalties you would face for a drug transaction outside of a school zone could be increased by 12 to 36 months in a state penitentiary for a transaction within a School Zone.

Additionally, if it is alleged that the drugs were sold to a minor, this same School Zone Enhancement could be applied.

§ 303.10. Guideline sentence recommendations: enhancements.  (b)  Youth/School Enhancement.

(1)  When the court determines that the offender distributed a controlled substance to a person or persons under the age of 18, the court shall consider the range of sentences described in §  303.9(c).

(2)  When the court determines that the offender manufactured, delivered or possessed with intent to deliver a controlled substance within 250 feet of the real property on which is located a public or private elementary or secondary school, the court shall consider the range of sentences described in §  303.9(c).

(3)  When the court determines both (b)(1) and (b)(2) apply, the court shall consider the range of sentences described in §  303.9(c).

(4)  The Youth/School Enhancement only applies to violations of 35 P. S. §  780-113(a)(14) and (a)(30).

(5)  The Youth/School Enhancement shall apply to each violation which meets the criteria above.   Drug & Gun Mandatory Sentences

A Drug & Gun Mandatory Minimum Sentence is triggered by the possession or presence of a firearm in close proximity at the time of the drugs were sold or possessed with the intent to deliver. If sufficient evidence exists for a conviction and to show that a gun was possessed or in close proximity during the commission of the offense, a 5 year mandatory minimum state prison sentence could be imposed. If such minimum sentence was imposed, it would result in a minimum prison term of at least 5 to 10 years in a state facility.

Under section 9712.1 of the Pennsylvania sentencing law, if "at the time of the [drug] offense, the person or the person's accomplice is in physical possession or control of a firearm, whether visible... concealed... within reach, or in close proximity to the controlled substance ... [the offender] shall be sentenced to a minimum sentence of at least 5 years" of jail time.

§    9712.1.  Sentences for certain drug offenses committed with firearms. (a)  Mandatory sentence.--Any person who is convicted of a violation of section 13(a)(30) of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, when at the time of the offense the person or the person's accomplice is in physical possession or control of a firearm, whether visible, concealed about the person or the person's accomplice or within the actor's or accomplice's reach or in close proximity to the controlled substance, shall likewise be sentenced to a minimum sentence of at least five years of total confinement.

Possession of Marijuana

Statutory Definition Pursuant Section 780-113(a)(31) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act;it is unlawful for a person to possess a small amount of marijuana: 1) only for personal use; 2) with the intent to distribute but not sell it; or, 3) to deliver but not sell it.   Penalties The maximum period of incarceration for a conviction of possession of a small amount of marijuana is 30 days. Additionally, a conviction for this offense carries a mandatory six (6) month license suspension for a first offense and the period of license suspension escalates for each subsequent conviction.

Jeffrey D. Veitch Esq

Attorney Jeff Veitch represents people accused of crimes and DUI charges, and in personal injury claims.

Free Initial Consultation

Attorney Jeff Veitch offers a free initial case evaluation during which time he will review the facts of your case with you and help you understand your options.