Drug Offenses

Defending Drug Possession Charges in Central Pennsylvania

The McClenahen Law Firm in State College advises and represents university students, out-of-state visitors and local residents about the most effective ways to deal with misdemeanor and felony drug possession charges. To discuss your situation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact our office for a free consultation about your options.

Any misdemeanor or felony drug conviction can result in a driver's license suspension, the loss of access to student loans, and future problems with professional licensing or security clearances. A criminal defense attorney's advice can help you find ways to avoid these consequences.

Your Most Promising Defense Will Depend on the Facts of Your Case

While we're always interested in finding and pursuing defenses that can result in dismissal of the charges against you or an acquittal at trial, our main goal is to minimize your exposure to punishment and protect your future employment or academic prospects.

Even if the evidence of drug possession against you is too strong to overcome, we can still achieve important defense objectives. We might be able to refer your case for ARD - accelerated rehabilitation disposition - that can lead to dismissal of the case and expungement of the criminal records. If ARD is not an option, we can argue that there are enough mitigating factors in your case to warrant a lenient sentence.

Skilled Pennsylvania Drug Offense Defense Attorney

McClenahen Law Firm, in State College, defends people arrested for alleged drug crimes. Attorney Matt McClenahen handles both misdemeanor and felony drug charges:

  • Prescription drugs: OxyContin, Adderall, Ritalin, Vicodin, Percocet, etc.
  • Stimulants: cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine (meth)
  • Narcotics: heroin, opium
  • Hallucinogens: LSD, PCP, psilocybin mushrooms
  • Empathogens: ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Cannabis: Marijuana and Hashish   
  • Drug paraphernalia: bongs, bowls, pipes, scales, rolling papers, etc.

Drug Offenses: Felony and Misdemeanor Drug Charges

In Pennsylvania, if you possess a certain weight of an illegal drug, it can be presumed that you intended to deliver (sell) the drug. Drug possession with the intent to deliver is a felony drug charge. For example, possession of thirty grams or more of marijuana can be charged as a felony. If you possess less than a certain weight of an illegal drug, however, there may be a presumption that it is for personal use and classified as a misdemeanor. This varies, however, with the circumstances.

Attorney McClenahen is skilled in handling both misdemeanor and felony drug charges, taking them to trial when necessary. He has an impressive win-loss record in jury trials: his total win-loss record is 26-12-1, with a record of 20-7-1 in non-felony drug trials and 6-5 in felony drug trials.* He has also negotiated with the prosecution for reduced charges and favorable plea agreements.

Drug paraphernalia, such as a bowl, a bong, or a needle, is used to introduce drugs into the body by inhaling, injecting, or other means. The charge of possession of drug paraphernalia may accompany a charge for possession of drugs.

Felonies and misdemeanors carry the possibility of prison time, and a conviction for possession of a certain weight of a drug can carry a mandatory minimum sentence. If you are convicted of possession with the intent to deliver within a school zone, you will face the possibility of a minimum of two to four years' prison time. A school zone includes Penn State and other area college campuses.

Attorney McClenahen defends clients charged with crimes that may occur alone or in connection with drug offenses, such as robbery, burglary, theft, unlawful use of a credit card, and assault.

The Risks: No Offense Is Minor When You Are the One Charged

Both felony and misdemeanor drug convictions will result in driver's license suspension, even if a car was not involved. A conviction is a blemish on your permanent criminal record and can result in the loss of federally subsidized student loans. In addition, security clearances may be affected.

Attorney McClenahen will examine the evidence to determine if drugs were found in an illegal search. If an officer did not have probable cause or a warrant, Attorney McClenahen may file a motion to have the evidence suppressed. He may also seek to show that drugs were intended for personal use, rather than delivery.

Speak with an Experienced Central Pennsylvania Criminal Law Attorney

Attorney McClenahen offers free initial consultations. To talk with an experienced lawyer about drug law, marijuana law, or drug charges, contact the McClenahen Law Firm, in State College. Attorney McClenahen can be reached by phone at (814) 308-0870 or through the Contact Page.