Drug possession is one of the most commonly charged crimes in Pennsylvania, as well as one of the most common crimes on college campuses across the state. With so many colleges and universities in Philadelphia—University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Saint Joseph’s University, Drexel University—more and more students are being charged with drug possession as schools try to crack down on illegal behavior on campus. Being convicted of drug possession can have far-reaching consequences, and those consequences become even greater if prosecutors determine you had the intent to distribute those drugs to anyone else.
When you have been arrested for drug possession, experienced drug counsel can prevent a minor charge from becoming a major felony offense, and, in many instances, even keep a drug possession conviction off your record.
Drug Possession in Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania, a charge of drug possession can be proved even when you are not physically in possession of the drugs. The prosecution can prove its case by demonstrating actual or constructive possession. Actual possession means having the drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine or heroin, physically on your person. Constructive possession is demonstrated by proving the offender’s knowledge of the contraband and the ability to maintain dominion or control over it. For example, just because you do not own the vehicle or are not the driver, does not mean you cannot be charged for possession when drugs or other contraband are found in the car.
This is where the second part of drug possession comes into play. To charge you with possession, prosecutors must be able to prove that you knowingly and intentionally possessed the drug. If the drugs are found in a secreted or hidden location in a car or residence where you are located and there is no other proof that you knew of their existence, these facts must be exposed to prove you were not in constructive possession of those drugs.
Drug Possession by Students
A conviction for drug possession can have a serious impact on anyone’s life, but it is especially detrimental for students. Drug possession is a legitimate reason for expulsion from most schools, and the possession of any amount of marijuana or even legal medications, such as Xanax, Percocet and oxycodone, without a prescription, can result in a conviction that prevents you from landing future employment or being accepted into other educational programs or the military. If arrested for drug possession while a student at a Philadelphia college or university, you will face disciplinary action from the school as well as criminal prosecution. If a conviction can be avoided, that may assist in lessening any drastic disciplinary action such as suspension or complete expulsion from school. A student should not consent to a search of their dorm room or apartment or provide any statements to school officials or police.
Attorney Fishman has represented many students from local universities that were charged with drug possession and has successfully petitioned to have them entered into diversion programs, such as ARD or AMP, where they never face trial and avoid a conviction by complying with certain pre-trial conditions such as attending classes, paying fines and costs, completing community service or attending drug and alcohol treatment. It is a call no student wants to make to their parents. But, Brian M. Fishman has helped many families through this difficult time.
Philadelphia County Drug Possession Lawyer
When you are facing a drug charge, it is important to remember that being found with a controlled substance in your possession does not mean an automatic conviction. It is quite possible that police violated your rights when they recovered the drugs off you and Attorney Fishman has successfully litigated countless suppression motions where drugs recovered were excluded from evidence there by destroying the Commonwealth’s case.
Philadelphia drug possession attorney Brian M. Fishman of The Fishman Firm, LLC represents individuals charged with drug possession in the state of Pennsylvania, with a goal of keeping drug possession charges off a person’s record and ensuring the charge has the lowest possible impact on a person’s life.
The Fishman Firm, LLC, is a criminal law firm located in Philadelphia, PA. Attorney Brian M. Fishman is a criminal defense attorney who concentrates his practice on defending the rights of those accused of criminal offenses. He has successfully defended clients in a wide range of criminal cases, and will aggressively defend your rights in court and in negotiations outside the courtroom. If you have been charged with any criminal offense in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks or Chester county, contact Brian M. Fishman at his Philadelphia office now to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.