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Drug Crimes Sentencing

Understanding Pennsylvania Drug Sentencing

You want to do everything you can to fight your drug charges, but a thorough and aggressive defense should be prepared to minimize the consequences of a potential conviction. At the Bucks County law offices of Attorney Niels C. Eriksen, we understand Pennsylvania drug sentencing guidelines and drug mandatories, and we will take these into consideration as we fight to lower the charges you face.

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Pennsylvania has a minimum and maximum drug sentencing system, where the maximum sentence is at least two times greater than the minimum sentence. Not all drug charges have mandatory minimum sentences, but it is important for your defense lawyer to understand the penalties before agreeing to any type of plea.

Pennsylvania drug charges are often complicated by sentence enhancements, including:

  • Prior trafficking convictions
  • Gun in close proximity
  • Multiple counts charged in document can count as prior convictions

With over a decade of experience protecting the rights of the accused in Pennsylvania state and federal courts, we understand the serious consequences facing our clients. As we help you build the best possible defense, we believe it is important for you to understand the charges as well:

18 Pa.C.S. §7508
Drug Trafficking
Sentencing and Penalties
Quantity1st Conviction2nd or Subsequent
MARIJUANA2 lbs. to
less than 10 lbs.
10 live plants to
less than 21
live plants
1 year2 years
10 lbs to
less than 50 lbs.
21 live plants to 51
live plants
3 years4 years
50 lbs. +
51 live plants +
5 years5 years

1 gram to less than 5 grams2 years3 years
5 grams to less than 50 grams3 years5 years
50 grams +5 years7 years
NARCOTICS OF SCHEDULE I OR II2 grams to less than 10 grams2 years3 years
10 grams to less than 100 grams3 years5 years
100 grams +5 years7 years
COCAINE2 grams to less than 10 grams1 year3 years
10 grams to less than 100 grams3 years5 years
100 grams +4 years7 years
5 grams to less than 10 grams3 years5 years
10 grams to less than 100 grams4 years7 years
100 grams +5 years8 years
AMPHETAMINE5 grams +2 1/2 years5 years
METHAQUALONE50 tablets to less than 200 tablets
25 grams to less than 100 grams
1 year3 years
200 tablets +
more than 100 grams
2 1/2 years5 years

The above chart is a rough guide to how Pennsylvania handles drug sentencing. Every case is unique and to truly understand the potential consequences you face, you want to speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Contact Us

From our offices in Bucks County, we are ready to answer any questions you may have about the drug charges you face and the accompanying sentencing guidelines. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we make jail visits and emergency bail hearings. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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Located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (PA), the Law Office of Niels C. Eriksen Jr., LLC represents clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and northeast Philadelphia, including residents of Langhorne, Bensalem, Bristol, Bristol Borough, Croydon, Doylestown, Fairless Hills, Falls Township, Levittown, Lower Makefield, Upper Makefield, Morrisville, New Hope, Newtown, Philadelphia, Richboro, Southampton, Trevose, Warminster, Warrington, Washington Crossing, Yardley, lower Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.

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