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WEST CHESTER MARIJUANA CHARGES

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, pot, ganja, bud, chronic, grass and reefer is one of the most frequently abused drugs in Pennsylvania. A conviction for many marijuana charges can result in harsh punishments in both criminal sentencing and in consequences on your daily life.

Some of the most common marijuana charges include:

  • Possession Under 30 Grams
  • Possession Over 30 Grams
  • Sale or Possession with the Intent to Distribute (PWID)
  • Cultivation / Growing Marijuana

West Chester Marijuana Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime in Chester County, or the surrounding areas of Lancaster County, Montgomery County or Delaware County, it is imperative to hire a lawyer who is experienced with Pennsylvania’s legal system. Michael J. Skinner is knowledgeable in all areas of Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws and will make every effort to have your charges completely dismissed, or find a way to mitigate your punishment. Call the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 for a consultation today.


Pennsylvania Marijuana Crimes Information Center


Pennsylvania Marijuana Charges and Punishments

  • Possession of Marijuana 30 g or less is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
  • Possession of Marijuana more than 30 g is also a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Distribution of 30 g or less for no remuneration (i.e. monetary exchange) is treated the same as simple possession, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
  • Sale, Delivery or Distribution (PWID) of 1,000 lbs or less of marijuana is a felony punishable by one to three years in Pennsylvania State Prison, with a statutory maximum of five years. Additional penalties include fines ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 ($15,000)(if the person arrested has a prior drug conviction then minimum mandatory prison sentence of 3 years and maximum fine).
  • Sale, Delivery or Distribution (PWID) of more than 1,000 lbs of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison, and a fine up to $100,000.
  • Sale, Delivery or Distribution (PWID) of marijuana within 1,000 ft of a school, or within 250 ft. of a recreational playground, is punishable by two to four years in prison.
  • Sale, Delivery or Distribution (PWID) of marijuana to a minor when the seller is over the age of 21 is a felony with double the possible penalties for the amount of marijuana sold.
  • Possession or sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. If the sale was to a minor, the possible penalties are doubled to two years in jail and fines up to $5,000.

Any second or subsequent marijuana offense conviction increases the possible penalties to twice those for first-time offenders.


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Medicinal Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not currently permit medicinal marijuana; however, some studies show there may be benefits to certain medical conditions. Medicinal marijuana has been used to treat pain resulting from nerve damage, as a treatment for glaucoma and movement disorders, and as a treatment for nausea that comes from certain cancer treatments. Medicinal marijuana can also be used as an appetite stimulant for suffering from HIV and certain types of cancer. Other research shows that marijuana can potentially defend the body against certain malignant tumors.

Many countries have already passed legislation legalizing marijuana, in addition to fifteen states and Washington D.C. in the United States. Many health organizations think there is some medicinal benefit to marijuana, and believe a patient should have the ability to legally access marijuana under a physician’s supervision.


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Marijuana Diversion Programs in Chester County

For first-time marijuana offenders, the court may grant probation without verdict. The state provides for conditional release or an alternative sentencing program for first-time offenders. Pennsylvania’s laws allow offenders to choose probation rather than being sentenced at trial. If the offender completes the requirements of the probation, the marijuana charge will be dismissed, and their criminal record will not reflect a marijuana charge.


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Defenses to Marijuana Charges

There may be possible defenses to your marijuana charge in Pennsylvania. Your Chester County defense attorney can help identify defenses or other mitigating factors that may reduce your marijuana charge to a lesser offense or even have it dismissed. Examples of defenses or mitigating factors to marijuana charges can include:

  • The officers illegally searched your home, person or car;
  • The arresting officer failed to read your Miranda Warnings;
  • The prosecution has insufficient evidence to charge you with a marijuana offense;
  • You were induced to engage in conduct you otherwise would not have committed by a law enforcement officer, which lead to your marijuana charge (entrapment);
  • The officers have mistaken your identity;
  • You have an alibi;
  • You had no intent to commit the marijuana offense (if intent is an element of the charge); and/or
  • Other circumstances that violated your constitutional rights that resulted in your marijuana charge.

Depending on if any of the above scenarios applies to your case, you attorney will be able to file a motion to dismiss your marijuana charge or a motion to suppress any illegally obtained evidence on your behalf.


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Marijuana Resources in Chester County

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws – This national organization is dedicated to changing the public’s opinion about marijuana to achieve the repeal of marijuana laws so the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties.

Marijuana Policy Project – MPP’s goal is to increase the public support of non-punitive and non-coercive marijuana punishments, and to change state laws regarding the use of marijuana.

Drug Policy Alliance – This national organization promotes non-violent alternatives to the drug war that are based on science and health and human rights.


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Skinner Law Firm – A Marijuana Lawyer in Pennsylvania

Contact the Skinner Law Firm for a consultation about your alleged marijuana offense in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas. Michael J. Skinner will hear the particular facts of your case, and make every effort to help avoid the harshest punishments. Call (610) 436-1410 for a consultation today.

Michael Skinner
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