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Methamphetamines: Possession, Sale, Manufacturing

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney for Meth Charges

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug, and the courts deal harshly with it because it is very easily abused and can lead to catastrophic mental or physical dependence and addiction. If you are caught possessing meth for your personal use, you are subject to a possible jail or prison sentence and significant fines. If you are arrested and convicted of manufacturing and/or selling meth, the penalties become steeper. If you have been charged with either possession or dealing methamphetamine, you need an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney in Pittsburgh on your side. Being charged with methamphetamine or other drug crimes is serious, and you will want someone who will fight hard for you.

If the Charge is Possession

If you are arrested for possession, a misdemeanor, all the prosecution has to prove is that you possessed the meth knowingly and deliberately, that you knew the drug was in fact meth, and that you were in command of its disposition. It did not have to be in your purse or pocket either. If it was simply near you, or in your house or car, you could potentially be convicted of possession.

For possession, the amount involved is less than five grams, generally. You can face a sentence up to one year and fines up to $5000, if it's your first offense. The sentence increases to two years for a second offense and three years for a third. But if the amount is more than five grams, a first-time conviction could mean a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than three years. In addition, a driver's license suspension is likely.

If the Charge Is Possession with Intent to Deliver

Possession with Intent to Deliver is a much more serious charge, and is a felony. Sentencing and fines increase significantly over those for possession. The amount, location and other factors affect these factors. Selling, or trafficking, for meth has four main categories under the law:

  1. Manufacturing with the intention to distribute
  2. Selling or delivering
  3. Possessing amounts large enough to indicate an intention to distribute, as opposed to just personal use
  4. Conspiracy – helping another who is selling or trafficking

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Deliver

Basically, a conviction for dealing or trafficking meth will mean up to 15 years in state prison, with fines up to $250,000. However, even more sentences can be added, based on quantity (or weight) of the drug, whether or not you were in close proximity to a school or playground, or if there was a weapon involved. A minimum mandatory sentence for trafficking in meth is three years for a quantity of 5-10 grams, four years for 10-100 grams, and five years for more than 100 grams. If you had a firearm, the minimum mandatory sentence is five years. If the crime was committed in a school zone, the sentence is another two years.

Defense Strategies for Methamphetamine Charges in Pittsburgh

There are several possible defenses for meth charges. Plea bargains are very common in these cases, where you receive a less strict sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to some of the charges, depending on the circumstances involved in the crime. Other approaches include challenging unreasonable or illegal searches and seizures, instances of no probable cause, or where the warrant wasn't correctly executed, among others.

At Blaine Jones Law, LLC, criminal defense lawyers in Pittsburgh, are skilled litigators and trial lawyers that will expose weak points in the prosecution's case. We have successfully negotiated much-reduced sentences as well as obtained not guilty verdicts numerous times. 

We will review your case and show you the best approach for your defense. We know how to fight for your rights and freedom.

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