In Pennsylvania, marijuana arrests during the COVID-19 pandemic are at an all-time high, even with unprecedented public health risks. The marijuana advocacy group NORML recently compiled data from Pennsylvania State Police and found that 20,200 residents were arrested for marijuana possession last year.
If you or a loved one faces a marijuana charge, Wyland Law Group can help you navigate Pennsylvania’s complex legal landscape. We will work hard on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Marijuana Arrests in Pennsylvania
In 2014, Philadelphia became the first Pennsylvania city to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses. Today, a total of 14 cities have now downgraded their penalties, the latest being Folcroft and West Norriton last year.
Unfortunately, most of these ordinances are not yet fully implemented. For instance, Pittsburgh local law enforcement still makes many arrests, even after the city decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2015. In another case, Lehigh County’s District Attorney General rejected the appeal for Allentown police to stop marijuana arrests.
This issue remains rampant even today. According to NORML’s press release of the 2020 Pennsylvania data:
- Marijuana-related arrests (20,200) were higher than those of every other illegal substance combined (17,425).
- Police officers arrest women and minors for marijuana possession more frequently than any other illegal substance.
- There is a racial disparity in the number of arrests, where Black Pennsylvanians have 3.5 times the risk of being arrested for possession than their white counterparts.
What Are the Charges for Marijuana Possession in Pennsylvania?
The amount of marijuana found in one’s possession largely influences the severity of the charge. With 30 grams or less, you may face a $500 fine and/or 30-days of jail time. If law enforcement discovers more than that, the court can charge you up to 12 months of jail time and a $5000 penalty.
Keep in mind that selling marijuana carries much steeper penalties. Those with previous marijuana-related convictions may also face worse punishments.
Can Legal Representation Help My Case?
If you were charged with marijuana possession, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced attorney. With professional legal assistance, you have a higher chance of having your charges reduced.
They will employ various strategies to aid your case, like:
- Asserting that the police officer in question conducted an illegal search.
- Claiming that the marijuana doesn’t belong to you.
- Forcing the prosecution to give evidence that the substance is actually a drug.
- Showing that you were a victim of entrapment.
Receive Free Legal Advice Today
Pennsylvania marijuana arrests during COVID-19 aren’t just dangerous to public health. Many of them also have no legal standing.
At Wyland Law Group, our team is dedicated to assisting and representing you. We can help you defend your rights and avoid harsh punishments.
In our first complimentary consultation, we will take the time to fully assess your legal situation and answer any of your concerns. Call us today at (412) 710-0013 or head to our contact page to schedule your appointment.