If you have been caught with a small (or not so small) quantity of drugs in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you probably have a lot on your mind right now. In fact, let us guess. You have probably used Google a lot lately to get a better understanding of Pennsylvania drug laws.
Possession with intent to deliver drugs, also known as PWID, is one of the most common types of drug charges in Pennsylvania. Today, our Pittsburgh drug lawyer is going to explain what PWID charges mean for you, and how you can protect your rights and freedom by mounting defenses to drug delivery charges.
Who can be charged with PWID in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, possession with intent to deliver drugs is likely to be charged as a felony, which is why you need to be careful with narcotics. However, if it is too late and you have been arrested on suspicion of PWID, you are probably wondering how to avoid penalties and sentencing.
Before we outline the best defenses to PWID charges in Pennsylvania, you need to understand when individuals in our state can be charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, heroin, marijuana, crack, LSD, phencyclidine (PCP), pills or any other illegal drug. You can be charged with PWID if any of the following is true:
- You were seen selling drugs during a narcotics surveillance;
- You were stopped while driving a car, in which the police found a certain quantity of drugs;
- You were found in a house with a certain quantity of drugs; or
- Police investigation indicated that you were part of an organized group selling, manufacturing or distributing drugs.
Defenses to PWID charges in Pennsylvania
Here at SMT Legal, our experienced drug attorney in Pittsburgh has represented hundreds of individuals arrested for or charged with possession with intent to deliver, sell or distribute drugs.
As we have mentioned earlier, possession with intent to deliver drugs can be charged as a felony, which comes with severe penalties upon conviction. The risk is tremendous, which means it is highly advised that you are represented by a skilled Pittsburgh drug lawyer.
Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, you may be able to defend yourself from PWID charges by mounting any of the following defenses to drug delivery charges.
- Motion to Suppress: If your lawyer can prove that the law enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop, detain or arrest you, the drugs found in your possession will not be used against you in court by using the “motion to suppress” defense. However, your attorney will have to demonstrate evidence that the police violated Pennsylvania law or your right to privacy. The same defense can be mounted if the police did not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to carry out the arrest.
- Actual vs. Constructive Possession: If there were no drugs on your person during the arrest (actual possession), your experienced drugs charge defense attorney in Pittsburgh may be able to argue that constructive possession (the drugs found in a stash, in a car, house or elsewhere) cannot be considered sufficient grounds for PWID charges.
- Conspiracy: One of the most common defenses to PWID charges when you were arrested as a result of a narcotics surveillance is mounting the theory of a conspiracy. However, for this one you will need an experienced drug lawyer in Pittsburgh.
- Mere Possession: Just because the drugs were found in your actual or constructive possession does not necessarily mean that you had the intent to deliver, sell, or distribute these drugs. Mere possession of narcotics is a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania and cannot be charged as PWID.