Are you innocent, a drug dealer, a drug user or just in the wrong place at the wrong time? PWI charges in PA
A possession with intent to deliver (PWI or PWID) charge is basically the government calling you a drug dealer. Furthermore, the government will treat you like a drug dealer. Moreover, the government will try to deny you bail. Next, they will try to give you long prison sentences. Finally, they may confiscate or try to forfeit cars, electronics or even houses. What you need is the best drug defense lawyer. That’s us.
Lots of times, it is all about being in the wrong place, at the wrong time with the wrong people. We get that.
Additional recommended reading:
- Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Attorney Now
- Read our over 400+ reviews from clients and peers
What you lose with a conviction
What you need to know now:
- What are the maximum sentences for PWI or possession of drugs in Pennsylvania?
- Can you get my bail reduced?
- If I am on probation in PA, will a simple drug possession charge put in jail for violating my probation?
- If I am on state parole in PA, can you get my detainer lifted if I am charged with PWI or PWID?
- Will drug charges “go federal” if I am charged with drugs in PA?
- If they don’t have drugs, how can they charge me with drug dealing?
- Does The McShane Firm win drug charges?
- What about a suppression hearing?
It all depends. For instance, it depends on your prior record, what types drugs the government claims you had, and even how much of the drugs they claim you had. Below are some free links for information on PWI penalties and drug charges consequences in Pennsylvania. With that, you can start to get the answers you need:
In particular, what you will find helpful is this information on state based prosecution for drug offenses and maximum penalties for drug offenses in Pennsylvania:
- Marijuana charges
- Cocaine charges
- Opiate charges
- Prescription drug charges
- Other type of drug charges
- Contraband in PA (Maximum Penalties and Defenses)
- Criminal Use of Communication Facility
- Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
- Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities
- Corrupt Organizations
Additional recommended reading: A primer on Federal drug sentencing
Clearly, yes. Most importantly, the very first job for a drug defense lawyer is: get the client out of jail. There are a number of ways. For example, the best drug defense is actually playing offense. For instance, when we are there with you at the preliminary arraignment which is the first time the local judge (called a Magisterial District Judge) hears the case, we can usually get release on non-monetary or ROR bail. Also, it makes a very positive impression and leads to lower bail if you have a lawyer there with you as you either surrender yourself or as the police arrest you.
We offer a free 24/7 emergency line. If you are arrested, you call us and work out the details of representation.
In addition, we help you put your best foot forward from the very beginning. For instance, we start to fight the “no-good drug dealer” story the government wants to tell. Specifically, as the judge considers bail, we tell the judge about all of the good things you do. But don’t worry if it all happened too fast and you didn’t have time to get a lawyer. We will still help. For one thing, even the judge sets high bail initially, we can get bail reduced in most cases.
If I am on probation in PA, will a simple drug possession charge put in jail for violating my probation?
Yes. Specifically, several of the standard and nearly automatic conditions of probation or parole apply. They include:
- refrain from breaking any state, local or federal laws,
- report any contact with law enforcement to your probation and parole officer, and
- not to use or possess any illegal drugs
If the government charges you with a drug offense and you are on probation or parole, probation and parole agents can detain you for an alleged violation. So, if you receive a summons or citation in the mail for possessing drugs and you are on probation or parole, you need an experienced drug defense lawyer immediately like us who can try to prevent your being put in prison on a detainer until the case is over.
Additional recommended reading: County Probation and Parole violations
Most folks will agree that state probation or parole is the worst. Unless you deal with the state probation and parole system every single day like we do, they will give you the run-around and will run you over. Specifically, the state system will try to put a “detainer” on you. A detainer is a quasi-criminal charge which allows the state probation and parole officers to take you under detention wherever you are. Moreover, they can lock you up in a local or state prison while your entire new case plays out. As you can imagine, that can take months. You do have rights to hearings where we as your drug defense lawyers can fight for your release or reduce the “back hit” that you would have to serve for the violation.
That is always a possibility. What we see generally is that a case will “go federal” if the government claims that:
- the accused has a large prior record for large scale drug dealing,
- the defendant is part of a large (and violent) multi-state enterprise,
- the case involves guns and drugs,
- the accused has a large amount of drugs and has been operating as a drug dealer for a long time,
- the defendant is a foreign national and there is some allegation of human trafficking as well as the drugs,
- you sold laced heroin (with fentanyl or carfentanyl) to someone and that person died and/or
- the accused has unrelated information of value to the DEA or FBI and they want to “squeeze” cooperation out of the accused.
Does your attorney go to Federal Court too?
One of the very first questions that anyone considering hiring a criminal defense lawyer in a drug dealing case is “Can you go and argue my case if it goes federal?” Not every lawyer has gained admission to the local federal court. Shelling out good money and then find yourself stuck with no lawyer and no money when the case goes federal is a nightmare. The second question should be “How frequently are you in federal court for drug dealing cases?”
The simple is yes. They don’t have to “put drugs on the table” to charge you. The prosecution has built the entire modern practice of drug prosecuting on snitches. Below is a video about how we fight the “no weight, snitch built case.”
Recommended additional reading: Defense Lawyer for a snitch and junkie only case
We do. Consider these real life client success stories (as verified by Avvo):
The best drug defense attorney
Highly recommend to anyone in need of a miracle worker. Knows how to use the system to his clients best interest. Have used other lawyers in past and this one rates top of the list. His rates are reasonable also
And here is another verified review:
Was very pleased with Justin’s ability to save my arse from Harrisburg police. Was very satisfied with his knowledge of my case. A real professional. Highly recommend. He also was reasonable in his rate and is willing to work with customers on payment.
A suppression hearing is a type of court hearing where the drug defense lawyer argues to the judge that the government did something illegal in either arresting you or seizing evidence. The two main types of suppression hearings are:
- where your lawyer argues that the government did not legally arrest you. For instance, your lawyer argues that the government doesn’t have enough evidence to prosecute you (called a writ of habeas corpus). In another example, your lawyer argues that there was insufficient probable cause to arrest you for the charge.
- where your lawyer argues that the government took evidence illegally. This has so many possibilities that it is almost endless. The government did not get a search warrant for your house where they found drugs, for example. Law enforcement didn’t read you your rights even though they arrested you and asked you questions about the crime, for instance. Typically, it might involve the physical evidence such as drugs or money. Moreover, sometimes it can be about the science such as the chemical identification of the drug, fingerprints, DNA, ion scans of the money and so on. The legality of the stop and the search of a car is a big one.
If you pick the wrong attorney who doesn’t know the law, you lose. It is just that simple. We know the law because we make a weekly podcast of the appeals court decisions called Pennsylvania Case Law Update While You Drive Podcast. Hundreds of judges and lawyers listen to it every week. Why go with a clueless cheap drug defense attorney?
In conclusion, what you need to know about PWI or PWID charges in Pennsylvania is that it will not go away on its own. Moreover, your attorney needs to be aggressive. The penalties for drug charges in PA depend upon your prior record, the type of drug involved and how much. Bail has to be the first priority of any drug charge defense strategy. If you are on probation and parole, then the government can and will try to “detain” you (hold you until the new charges are settled). We can fight against this. Finally, you need lawyers like us who can operate in both the federal and state courts in case the case “goes federal.”
We can and will defend you in drug cases. Call us 717-657-3900.
Additional recommended reading:
Additional recommended blog posts of interest:
- You are not a drug dealer
- Your freedom or your medicine? New ruling on Medical Marijuana and Probation
- What is PWI in PA and why am I being charged with it?
- Can cops pull you over for window tint?
- Is it illegal to have someone else’s prescription?
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When I got this email from Justin asking me to write a review on him on this site, I dropped everything I was doing to do it.
Unfortunately, my daughter has a drug problem. We have been struggling with it for years in the family. She was caught by the police and sold to an undercover. Justin made it get through ARD so she would have no felony on her record and is now a college student and has a bright future. We cannot believe how great he is.
Mr. Barrouk and the rest of your firm were able to get a Nol Pros order for all of the charges. Happy doesn’t begin to describe it. Everyone was very kind and [I] feel like I played a part not just as a defendant. Thank You.
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Justin McShane, Esq and all of his associates are the most technically knowledgeable and skilled attorney in Pennsylvania, or, in the country for that matter. Hard working in all of their cases, their success rate is astonishing. As an attorney myself, I know when I see knowledge, hard work, and integrity in other lawyers. Look no further if you are seeking legal counsel. The McShane firm is it.