What are the penalties for drug trafficking?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2019 | Drug Charges |

Drug trafficking is taken very seriously by law enforcement in Pennsylvania. When you face this type of charge, it essentially means there is evidence that you have somehow contributed or assisted in getting illegal drugs into your community. Obviously, this is something that the public, law enforcement and lawmakers want to put an end to. With that in mind, the penalties for such crimes are typically quite harsh.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly explains that courts must follow mandatory sentence guidelines for drug trafficking convictions. A judge cannot give you a lower sentence than the mandatory minimum. He or she can impose a harsher sentence, though. There are general sentencing guidelines for both first-time offenses and repeat offenses. You can always expect to face a harsher sentence if you have a previous drug-related conviction.

Marijuana is the drug with the lowest penalties. Your mandatory sentence is based on the amount of the drug in your possession. If you had two to 9 pounds or 10 to 20 plants, then you face one year in prison or a fine of $5,000. If this is a repeat offense, that gets bumped up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. As you increase the amount of marijuana, the penalties increase. The maximum is five years in prison and a $50,000 fine for over 50 pounds or 51 plants.

You can expect that controlled substances of a higher classification will carry stiffer penalties. For example, having 2.0 to under 10 grams of a Schedule I or II drug will get you at least two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. This information is for education and is not legal advice.