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Simple Possession

35 P.S. 780-113(a)(16) defines possession of a controlled substance as:

Knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled or counterfeit substance by a person not registered under this act, or a practitioner not registered or licensed by the appropriate State board, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription order or order of a practitioner or except as otherwise authorized by the statute.

Penalties under 35 P.S. 780-113(a)(16) include:

  1. Misdemeanor
  2. First Offense- Maximum of 1 year in Jail and $5,000.00 fine
  3. Second Offense- Maximum of 3 years in Jail and $25,000.00 fine

Manufacture, Delivering or Possession With Intent to Deliver Controlled Substances

35 P.S. 780-113(a)(30) defines manufacturing, delivering or possession with intent to distribute as:

The manufacture, delivery, or possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance by a person not registered or licensed by the appropriate State Board; or, creating, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver a counterfeit controlled substance.

The penalties for the above crime depend on the specific drug or drugs in question. Most substances are categorized by the federal drug Schedule (I-V) classifications. All penalties, however, are graded as a felony.

The following breakdown describes the penalties you may face depending on the drug. It is important to talk with an attorney, however, to get a detailed explanation of the penalties you face as a number of other factors can play a part in its determination.

  1. Schedule I or II drugs (for example, heroine) – up to 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
  2. Cocoa (Cocaine) and its derivatives, methamphetamines (Meth), phencyclidines (PCP), or Marijuana in excess of 1,000 pounds – up to 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.
  3. Any other Schedule I, II or III drug not mentioned above – up to 5 years in prison and a up to a $15,000 fine.
  4. Schedule IV drugs – up to 3 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  5. Schedule V drugs – up to 1 year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.

NOTE: Your penalty may be doubled or tripled if your charges involve distribution in a school zone, or distributing to a minor. Additionally, there are mandatory minimum sentences where the weight of the controlled substance involved exceeds a specified amount.

Marijuana Specifically

In Pennsylvania, possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. The penalties for possession of greater than 30 grams increase to a possible one year in prison and a fine up to $5,000.


Drug Paraphernalia

In Pennsylvania, possession or sale of drug paraphernalia is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. Penalties double if the sale was to a minor.

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