Pennsylvania residents who hear about the arrest of someone for suspected drug offenses might well wonder what type of evidence officers need to produce in order to support this type of criminal charge. Every situation involving an alleged drug crime is different and the specific evidence therefore may vary as well. However, that does not negate the need for prosecutors to have evidence to back up an arrest or request to keep a defendant in custody.
People who hear or read reports of arrests made involving drugs in Pennsylvania should carefully consider that there may be more to the story than someone allegedly breaking the law. In many cases, people accused of drug crimes have underlying addictions or substance abuse problems that put them in the position of being arrested as they struggle with the vicious cycle of drug addiction.
Even just ten or fifteen years ago, it was difficult to imagine widespread legalization of marijuana. Today, several states have legalized the drug for recreational use, and many more either decriminalize small amounts of it or allow medical uses.
Many in Pennsylvania have gone through the financial pressure brought on by a loved one's need for a cash bond after being arrested and charged with a crime. Without the money, they were unable to leave jail, but coming up with the amount is sometimes difficult or impossible, and that can have serious repercussions on a person's life. Two senators have introduced a bill to try to change this system so that the ability to pay is not what keeps people in jail.
Over the past 15 or 20 years, Pennsylvania residents have become aware of a growing problem facing not only their local communities but the nation as a whole. The dramatic entrance onto the market of opioid painkillers to help manage serious pain has contributed to a deadly legacy. These highly addictive drugs have led far too many people down a negative path that may include criminal charges, time in jail and even overdose.
With the current and growing acceptance of the use of marijuana for recreational as well as medicinal use in states across the country, Pennsylvanians should know that the criminal penalties still exist. Although possession of an illegal drug is typically considered far less onerous a crime than an act amounting to drug trafficking, sentencing rules do provide for prison time.
One June 1, a Sheriff and 29 deputies shut down a high school for four hours and searched virtually all 900 students. The searches were quite intrusive, with at least one boy reporting that his genitals were cupped or groped. Girls reported officers putting fingers inside their bras and underwear. It was confusing and upsetting to everyone, but especially to the special education students.
The return of tougher sentencing?
Having a drug conviction on your record can affect future job opportunities, acceptance into university programs, and even getting approved for a good apartment. Since drug laws in Pennsylvania are very strict, it is important to have a strong defense to fight against the charges. In order to win a drug charge case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a doubt that you knew you possessed an illegal substance.
It seemed like a simple solution to your back pain. Your close friend offered you some muscle relaxers and painkillers to get you by until you were able to go see a doctor. However, during a traffic stop, a police officer discovered the prescription drugs and charged you with the illegal possession of narcotics. Now you are wondering what to do next.