Experienced Defense Counsel Serving Clients Throughout Central Pennsylvania

Photo of Matt M. McClenahen
Photo of Matt M. McClenahen
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Drug Felonies

Representing People Charged With Felony Drug Offenses In Central Pennsylvania

Criminal defense attorney Matt McClenahen represents people who are facing felony drug charges in Central Pennsylvania. If you’re facing prosecution for delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communications facility or any other felony charge related to illegal drugs, contact the McClenahen Law Firm P.C. in State College by calling  814-308-0870 for dependable advice and skillful representation.

Can The Prosecution Prove That You Were Dealing Drugs?

The police look at a variety of factors when deciding whether to charge a suspect with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance or possession for personal use. The primary factors are the weight of the drugs and how they are packaged, but these are not the only considerations. For example, the discovery of guns, scales and packaging materials with a relatively small quantity of drugs could invite felony possession with intent to deliver charges as will discovery of large quantities of cash or written notes such as “owe sheets,” which indicate money owed to a drug dealer when he fronts drugs to others.

The Potential Consequences Of Conviction

The penalties for drug felonies in Pennsylvania used to be much harsher than they are now, as Pennsylvania no longer has mandatory minimum sentences in felony drug cases. With unfair and draconian mandatory minimum sentences no longer in effect, it is much easier for defense lawyers to procure more lenient outcomes than it was in the recent past. Also, there is not as much risk if a defendant elects to go to trial. Judges have regained the ability to choose an appropriate sentence in felony drug cases. In the dark era of mandatory minimums, prosecutors could dictate to judges what a sentence would be, and if a defendant had the audacity to go to trial and then be convicted, it was pretty much guaranteed that he would receive a mandatory minimum sentence. You read that right: Previously, prosecutors could dictate to a judge what a sentence would be in a felony drug case. The abolition of mandatory minimum sentences is a game-changing development in Pennsylvania drug law.

Building A Solid Defense

Our job is to analyze and attack the evidence in felony drug cases in every way possible. Sometimes we can challenge the circumstances of a traffic stop or a search and convince a judge to suppress the evidence against you. If evidence is suppressed, it cannot be used at trial. Other times, we’ll be able to show that the drugs were for personal use or that you were unaware of the presence of drugs found near you or that even if you were aware of the presence of the drugs, they belonged to someone else and you never possessed them.

Sometimes, a reputable defense lawyer can intercede on a client’s behalf before drug charges are filed. This could mean the difference between being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, or it could even mean avoiding charges altogether. Thus, you should hire a lawyer as soon as you are a suspect instead of waiting until you are charged.

If the charges against you are based primarily on the word of a confidential informant (CI), we can attack the CI’s credibility. This is an effective strategy when the police have failed to take steps to corroborate the CI’s testimony, as CIs are usually people with a criminal past who have strong incentives to make false accusations against others in order to achieve a more lenient outcome in their own criminal cases. The police are very much aware that CIs cannot be trusted, as CIs are often caught lying to the police or continuing to use and sell drugs after becoming CIs. Accordingly, the police will normally try to take every precaution to assure that the CI is not fabricating allegations against a target or suspect, but the police are not able to do this in every case. In cases where the police and prosecution cannot back up the word of a CI with reliable, corroborative evidence, a defendant has a chance to win at trial.

Call To Discuss Your Case With An Accomplished Trial Lawyer

With a solid record of achievement at trial on behalf of people facing felony drug charges, criminal trial lawyer Matt McClenahen knows how to present effective defenses at trial. In cases that are not well-suited for trial, he can pursue the best possible plea agreement or present mitigating factors to the sentencing judge, which may lead to a more lenient sentence.

In nearly all cases, a criminal defendant has the choice between accepting a plea offer or taking the case to trial at the risk of a harsher outcome. Our goal is to give you the best legal advice and practical information so that you can make the best choice for yourself by weighing the risks and rewards of going to trial versus accepting a plea agreement. It is only after consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has had the time to review all the evidence in your case that you can make an informed and intelligent decision as to whether to take your case to trial or accept a plea agreement.

To learn more about your options for resolving felony drug charges on favorable terms, contact the McClenahen Law Firm P.C. in State College by calling 814-308-0870 for a free consultation. You may also complete the online contact form.