Several states across the country have decriminalized the possession of marijuana, with others legalizing it for recreational use. However, Pennsylvania is not one of these states.
If you are caught with marijuana, you will likely face criminal charges.
The push for legalization
There is a push in Pennsylvania to legalize recreational marijuana; however, this has not yet happened. As a result, this does not help if you face marijuana-related charges now. While future laws may be applied retroactively in the future, the best option is to avoid a conviction. Knowing the laws, potential penalties and possible defenses is essential if you are facing marijuana-related charges.
Potential penalties for marijuana-related crimes
The penalties you face when charged with a marijuana-related crime depend on the amount. Unfortunately, even small amounts can come with jail time.
In Pennsylvania, the following penalties apply if you are convicted:
- Possession of 30 grams or under: Up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
- Possession of two to 10 pounds or up to 21 live plants: Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000
- Possession of 10 to 50 pounds or 21 to 51 live plants: Up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $15,000
- Possession of 50 pounds or more or 51 or more live plants: Up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $50,000
- Smoking marijuana in public: Fines of up to $100
It is important to note that the charges may be more severe if you have a past criminal record or other charges against you.
Fighting marijuana charges in Pennsylvania
Drug charges are serious and they come with severe penalties. Learning your legal options and possible defenses to avoid a conviction is important. You have rights in these situations, and it is important to assert them.