Shaffer & Engle Personal attention. Compassionate response. Fast Results.
Shaffer & Engle Personal attention. Compassionate response. Fast Results.

Narcotics and Penalties in PA

National Association of Distinguished Counsel | Nation's Top One Percent 2017 | NADC
Partner With A Trusted Legal Ally, Call:
717-827-4074

Drug trafficking penalties in PA are severe, but first, we must know which drugs fall into which schedules.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Drug Defense Lawyer, Harrisburg, PA

There are severe penalties for possession with the intent to distribute ("PWI") illegal narcotics in PA.  These penalties vary depending on what 'Schedule' the drug falls into under the PA Drug Act.

Schedule I. In determining that a substance comes within this schedule, there is a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. The following controlled substances are included in this schedule:

  1. Opiates,
  2. Opium derivatives, such as: Acetyldihydrocodeine, Benzylmorphine, Codeine, Heroin, Morphine.
  3. A material, compound, mixture or preparation which contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances: Mescaline, Peyote, "Marihuana" or Marijuana.

Schedule II. In determining that a substance comes within this schedule, there is a high potential for abuse, currently accepted medical use in the United States or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions and abuse may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence. The following controlled substances are included in this schedule:

(1) The following substances of any quantity, except those narcotics specifically excepted or listed in other schedules, whether produced directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of vegetable origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by combination of extraction and chemical synthesis:

  • Opium and opiate, and a salt, compound, derivative or preparation of opium or opiate.
  • Opium poppy and poppy straw.
  • Coca leaves (Cocaine) and a salt, compound, derivative or preparation of coca leaves.
  • Phencyclidine, Pentobarbital 

Schedule III. In determining that a substance comes within this schedule, there is a potential for abuse less than the substances listed in Schedules I and II.  There is well documented and currently accepted medical use in the United States and abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence. The following classes of controlled substances are included in this schedule:

  1. A substance which contains any quantity of a derivative of barbituric acid, or a salt of a derivative of barbituric acid.
  2. A material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing limited quantities of codeine or opium.

Schedule IV. In determining that a substance comes within this schedule, there is a low potential for abuse, currently accepted medical use in the United States and limited physical or psychological dependence liability.  Examples include: Temazepam and Lorazepam.

Schedule V. In determining that a substance comes within this schedule, there is a low potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV; currently accepted medical use in the United States; and limited physical dependence or psychological dependence liability relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV.  Examples include:  Propylhexadrine and Pyrovalerone.

Penalties Associated with the Schedules:

  • Schedule I or II drugs: A fine of up to $250,000 and up to 15 years in prison
  • Schedule I, II, or III drugs: A fine of up to $15,000 and up to 5 years in prison
  • Schedule IV drug: A fine of up to $10,000 and up to 3 years in prison
  • Schedule V drug: A fine of up to $1,000 and up to 1 year in prison

'Enhancements' may apply

In cases where illegal drugs are sold within a school zone or are sold to a minor or person under 21 years of age, penalties may double or triple.  Mandatory sentencing may also apply based upon quantity sold and the possession of a firearm.  Further, penalties may be doubled if there is a prior conviction at the time of sentencing.

If you've been charged with drug possession or delivery, you should contact an experienced drug trafficking lawyer.  You may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information