Pennsylvania Drug Possession Laws & Penalties
The charge and potential sentence you face for a possession charge depends on the drug you are caught with and the amount in your possession. Though Pennsylvania drug laws appear to be simple at first glance, like other criminal laws they are complex and can be confusing.
Marijuana possession charges in Pennsylvania vary in severity depending on how much marijuana you are accused of having.
- If the charge involves 30 grams or less of pot, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines. However, if this is your first offense, it’s quite possible to get probation without a verdict (Section 17), thereby avoiding the possibility of a permanent criminal record.
- If you are caught with more than 30 grams of marijuana, you will face up to one year in jail and $5,000 in fines.
- If you have multiple similar convictions on your record, these potential penalties can be doubled.
Pennsylvania – Possession of Other Drugs
Other controlled substances carry more serious penalties if convicted. This applies to drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, prescriptions, ecstasy, and LSD.
- First Offense, up to one year in jail and $5,000 in fines
- Second Offense, up to 2 years in prison and fines
- Third Offense, up to 3 years in prison and fines