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Possession with Intent to Deliver Charges in Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Drug Dealing Law

Posted On: July 28, 2015 by Marc Neff

Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID) or drug dealing charges are one of the most common criminal cases in Philadelphia. If you’re facing a PWID or drug dealing charge in Philadelphia, it is important to know and understand the law and how it applies to your case. Below is a discussion of drug dealing laws in Pennsylvania and how these cases are commonly handled.

Pennsylvania PWID Law

The Pennsylvania Controlled Substances, Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics Act details various drug dealing crimes, including PWID. Under subsection 13(a)(30), the crime of PWID is specifically prohibited:

except as authorized by this act, the manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, a controlled substance by a person not registered under this act, or a practitioner not registered or licensed by the appropriate State board, or knowingly creating, delivering or possessing with intent to deliver, a counterfeit controlled substance. (emphasis added)

The Elements of the Crime of PWID (Drug Dealing)

In order to sustain a conviction for PWID, the prosecution must prove the following elements of the crime of PWID:

  1. the items seized are in fact a controlled substance (i.e., cocaine, heroin, etc.),
  2. the defendant knowingly possessed the controlled substance, and
  3. the defendant intended to deliver the item to another person or use the item in the manufacture of a controlled substance.

Proving the Elements of the Crime in a Philadelphia Drug Prosecution

Many drug dealing cases in Philadelphia are fought and won based on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s evidence relating to the second and third elements. In other words, has the prosecution proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant knowingly possessed the seized items? Also, has the prosecution proven that the defendant actually intended to deliver or sell the items? These issues often come into play when multiple parties were present when an arrest or seizure occurred, i.e., during an auto stop or home arrest and seizure when multiple people were present.

Circumstantial Evidence in Philadelphia PWID Cases

Oftentimes in PWID cases in Philadelphia, prosecutors will point to circumstantial evidence to prove possession and intent to deliver. For instance, were other items belonging to the defendant located in close proximity to the controlled substance?

Circumstantial evidence is especially important in cases where the defendant exercises the constitutional right to remain silent and does not make any admissions, i.e., does not confess to owning or selling the drugs.

Related: What are Miranda Rights and when do they apply?

There are many ways to attack drug dealing charges in Philadelphia. Attacking the elements of the crime is one method of attack. Another method of attack is filing a Motion to Suppress Evidence based on constitutional violations. Drug prosecutions depend heavily on drug evidence and statements. Without them, these cases often fail and result in a dismissal. Get info about search and seizure issues in Philadelphia drug cases.

Philadelphia Criminal Law Firm – Drug Dealing Crimes (PWID)

If you, a friend or family member is facing criminal drug dealing charges (PWID) in Philadelphia, contact our office for a confidential consultation. Our office is located on Market Street in downtown Philadelphia, several blocks from the Criminal Justice Center. Contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff at (215) 563-9800.

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