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Drug Trafficking Offenses Committed with a Firearm

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The possession of a firearm at the time of the commission of a drug transaction has a five year mandatory minimum.

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

Any person convicted of a violation of § 13(a)(30) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, when, at the time of the offense, the person or the person's accomplice was in physical possession or control of a firearm, whether visible, concealed about the person or the person's accomplice, or within the actor's or accomplice's reach or in close proximity to the controlled substance, is subject to a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.

What's meant by a "firearm?"

As used in § 9712, "firearm" means any weapon (including a starter gun or BB gun), which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or the expansion of gas therein.  It is irrelevant that the firearm is inoperable, as long as it was designed to function in a manner that meets the definition.  "Visibly possessed" means possession which manifests itself in the process of a crime, even when the item possessed is hidden from view.

It does not matter that you were legally licensed to carry the weapon.

In a recent decision in February 2012, the Superior Court held in Stein, that despite the firearm not being used in the commission of the delivery and being legally licensed to the accused, the five year mandatory did still nonetheless apply.

If you've been arrested or charged with a drug delivery or drug trafficking offense, you need to speak to experienced drug defense counsel.  You may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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