With drug laws constantly changing around the United States, it can be hard to keep up. Although Pennsylvania does not have the most lenient charges around the country, the state also does not have the most prohibitive restrictions, either.
As such, if you question which drug charges can result in a felony, you are not alone. In Pennsylvania, you may either face either a misdemeanor or a felony for various drug charges. While a misdemeanor can still have serious consequences, felonies tend to have the most damaging long-term outcomes.
Individual possession falls under misdemeanor charges
According to the Pennsylvania legislature, a person’s first offense for drug possession is a misdemeanor with up to one year behind bars and a fine of up to $5,000. Subsequent offenses are also misdemeanors, although future charges can result in longer sentences and higher fines up to $25,000. Additionally, possessing drug paraphernalia can lead to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Drug trafficking falls under felony charges
In addition to misdemeanors, the other kind of drug offense is felonies. These charges are more serious according to Pennsylvania law and have more severe consequences. Technically referred to as PWIDs, these trafficking charges may include growing, transporting, producing as well as dealing. In addition, drugs that can qualify for felony trafficking charges may vary among any variety of Schedule I or II substances according to the federal classification system.
In general, simple possession charges usually end up being misdemeanors while trafficking charges are felonies in Pennsylvania. With that said, there may always be exceptions to this.