Drug possession charges are a serious offense that can negatively affect your life in many ways. If you’re facing charges over a drug allegation, it’s likely you’ll need a criminal defense lawyer, but how do you ensure you’re choosing the right lawyer? 

Here are some questions you should ask when hiring a criminal defense lawyer to represent you:

Can you lose your driver’s license for drug paraphernalia?

Not anymore. Before now, an offender convicted of marijuana possession would automatically lose their driver’s license for at least six months. However, the state legislature passed House Bill 163 in 2019 which repealed an automatic driver’s license suspension provision. 

What are the classifications of drug charges in Pennsylvania?

Drug charges in Pennsylvania are generally classed into the following categories: Simple Possession, Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID) and Drug Manufacture, Delivery and Distribution. Please note that drug charge penalties usually increase as the number of your prior charge convictions increase.

Why would the police think I was selling marijuana?

In the course of a trial, the prosecution will consider the evidence and try to determine whether you were in possession of the drug for your personal use or intended to sell it. Some of the factors often considered include the quantity of marijuana involved, paraphernalia showing personal use (such a bong or pipe) or showing distribution (such as a scale or baggies), and evidence suggesting trafficking has been ongoing at the residence where the marijuana is found. 

Can I be prosecuted if caught with medical marijuana?

You will not be prosecuted if caught with medical marijuana given that you have a license to use the drug. Qualified users must have an approved serious medical condition, be a Pennsylvania resident, and be certified by a participating doctor.

Will charges be removed from my criminal record at age 18?

No. If at all, there’s no automatic criminal charge removal. However, you can apply for an expungement if you were convicted of a criminal offense as a juvenile and meet other eligibility criteria set by the  New Pennsylvania Expungement Law.

Can I apply for the Expedited Review Program after being convicted?

It all depends on the circumstances surrounding your case and the subsequent conviction. The Expedited Review Program was set up to review non-violent marijuana-specific convictions. However, there’s no certainty that applicants for this will receive favorable decisions from the board. Criminal cases that qualify for this program include:

  • Possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use;
  • Possession of a small amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute;
  • The distribution of a small amount of marijuana but not for sale;
  • Criminal conspiracy relating to marijuana-specific offense;
  • Felony conviction for possession for intent to deliver marijuana; among others.

Are you or your loved one currently facing drug possession charges in Pennsylvania?

Speak to attorney Jacob W. Wyland, Esq, an expert and experienced criminal defense lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA. A former Deputy District Attorney, attorney Wyland will put his years of experience to work for you. 

For more information, visit his  official website or call (412) 710-0013.