West Chester, PA 19380
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Lee Ciccarelli is the founder and managing partner of Ciccarelli Law Offices with over two decades experience as a practicing attorney.
Raymond Tarnowski is a seasoned trial veteran and the co-manager of the criminal defense division at Ciccarelli Law Offices.
Hilary Styer is a dedicated lawyer and Chester County native who excels in representing clients facing complex charges.
LaMarlon Barksdale serves those facing criminal charge across Pennsylvania through his hard work and dedication to serving others.
Joshua Tebay is an experienced attorney and former prosecutor licensed to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
These locations are available by appointment only
Our firm provides excellent services at reasonable fees and accepts a variety of payment methods, including most major credit card providers.
With drug crimes becoming more prevalent over the years, many states, including Pennsylvania, have enacted harsh penalties for those convicted for drug-related offenses. Even for seemingly minor infractions, offenders face the possibility of jail time, steep fines, and a criminal background that can interfere with future opportunities.
Many drug accusations are filed as the result of a search, and sometimes these searches may violate your constitutional rights. In order to fight for your rights and protect your future, the help of an experienced legal professional could make a big difference in whether you have the best possible outcome.
The legal team at Ciccarelli Law Offices knows how stressful facing a drug charge can be, and we are determined to help every client through every step of the criminal proceedings. With a proactive approach to your defense, our attorneys can seek out a weakness in the prosecution's case and seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed before you even set foot in court.
To start taking the right steps to defend your future, call (610) 719-3200 today to schedule your free consultation. Our team proudly serves the West Chester area, with offices in West Chester, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Malvern, Radnor, Kennett Square, Springfield, Plymouth Meeting and King of Prussia, along with anywhere in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County or Lancaster County.
As drug problems increase across the country, state and federal laws are becoming more stringent, in the hopes of combating the growing drug trade. With many different types of controlled substances in question, there is a system that categorizes drugs into "schedules." The following are examples of some of the drugs in the different schedules.
Marijuana, Heroin, LSD (acid), MDMA (ecstasy)
Cocaine, Oxycodone, Methamphetamine (Meth)
Vicodin, Anabolic Steroids, some Barbiturates, Ketamine
Valium, Xanax, Soma, Klonopin
Cough suppressants that contain a certain amount of codeine and other prescription drugs
Possession of drugs without a valid prescription or other license is illegal and can lead to jail time, fines, and a criminal record. The possible penalties vary depending on what drug was found and in what quantity, but all have serious consequences. Most simple possession charges are filed as misdemeanors.
In addition, Pennsylvania law states that it is illegal to possess paraphernalia, meaning any tool or equipment used for ingesting drugs. This includes bongs, pipes, and manufacturing materials. Penalties for this type of offense also vary, but can include up to 1 year in prison and a $2,500 fine. Selling paraphernalia is also a criminal offense, which leads to caution on the part of vendors.
Drug offenses which involve distribution or the selling of drugs fall under possession with intent to deliver (PWID). These charges carry much more severe penalties. The decision of whether to charge you with PWID or simple possession usually depends on the quantity of the drug in question, but can also be influenced by evidence such as large amounts of cash.
For Schedules I, II, and III drugs, a PWID charge carries the possibility of up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000. Schedule IV drugs carry up to 3 years in prison and $10,000 in fines, while schedule V drugs are considered a misdemeanor and can be punished by up to 1 year in prison and $5,000 in fines. If a minor was involved in the distribution, however, there is a minimum of a 1 year prison sentence.
In the case of large amounts of certain drugs, you could face a trafficking charge. These offenses carry heavy penalties, as law enforcement seeks to cut out the sources of drug trade. If you were in possession of more than 100 grams of heroin, 10 grams of methamphetamines, or more than 5 grams of cocaine base, you could face a trafficking charge. The penalties increase according to the quantity of drugs involved, and both state and federal trafficking charges carry mandatory prison time and fines.
The federal government also has laws prohibiting the distribution, manufacture and even possession of controlled substances. The federal drugs laws are largely the same as Pennsylvania's. However, federal charges are heard in federal court, and any punishment will be in federal prisons — which, contrary to what you may have heard, are not "country clubs."
Your West Chester criminal defense lawyer must be licensed in federal courts to be able to represent you. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, we are licensed to practice in Pennsylvania federal courts.
While federal law makes mere possession of a controlled substance illegal, the feds tend to pursue larger charges, like drug trafficking. Several agencies, including the FBI, may enforce federal drug laws, but the Drug Enforcement Agency is dedicated entirely to enforcing the Controlled Substances Act.
It is possible to face charges in both courts. For instance, you could be charged with possession in federal court and trafficking in Pennsylvania's Court.
RAND Drug Policy Research Center: The RAND Institute is a nonprofit organization that studies public policy, including drug criminalization.
Drug Policy Alliance: The Drug Policy Alliance advocates for sensible policy on controlled substances.
Ciccarelli Law Offices | Chester County Drug Defense Attorney
Drug charges are becoming increasingly common across the country. They carry serious penalties that can affect your entire future and should not be taken lightly. The legal team at Ciccarelli Law Offices is experienced as handling a wide range of drug charge scenarios, and they can confidently defend your future. If your facing a charge like possession, manufacturing, or trafficking in the West Chester area, including Downingtown, Exton or Coatesville, call (610) 719-3200 today to schedule your free consultation about your unique situation.