Drug Trafficking

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Below you will find the actual text of the Pennsylvania statute governing Drug Trafficking charges in Pennsylvania. Drug Trafficking charges can have serious and significant impacts on your life. You should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. Our Pittsburgh attorneys can explain to you Drug Trafficking and related crimes, possible punishment, and all of your options. This was current as of September 2015. Our firm is primarily in the business of fighting for defendants’ rights (not updating websites), but we wanted to give you some information solely for educational purposes.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7508.  Drug trafficking sentencing and penalties.

(a)  General rule.–Notwithstanding any other provisions of this or any other act to the contrary, the following provisions shall apply:

(1)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, where the controlled substance is marijuana shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a fine as set forth in this subsection:

(i)  when the amount of marijuana involved is at least two pounds, but less than ten pounds, or at least ten live plants but less than 21 live plants; one year in prison and a fine of $5,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: two years in prison and a fine of $10,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity;

(ii)  when the amount of marijuana involved is at least ten pounds, but less than 50 pounds, or at least 21 live plants but less than 51 live plants; three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: four years in prison and a fine of $30,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; and

(iii)  when the amount of marijuana involved is at least 50 pounds, or at least 51 live plants; five years in prison and a fine of $50,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity.

(2)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act where the controlled substance or a mixture containing it is classified in Schedule I or Schedule II under section 4 of that act and is a narcotic drug shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a fine as set forth in this subsection:

(i)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 2.0 grams and less than ten grams; two years in prison and a fine of $5,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: three years in prison and $10,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity;

(ii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least ten grams and less than 100 grams; three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: five years in prison and $30,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; and

(iii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 100 grams; five years in prison and a fine of $25,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: seven years in prison and $50,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity.

(3)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act where the controlled substance is coca leaves or is any salt, compound, derivative or preparation of coca leaves or is any salt, compound, derivative or preparation which is chemically equivalent or identical with any of these substances or is any mixture containing any of these substances except decocainized coca leaves or extracts of coca leaves which (extracts) do not contain cocaine or ecgonine shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a fine as set forth in this subsection:

(i)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 2.0 grams and less than ten grams; one year in prison and a fine of $5,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: three years in prison and $10,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity;

(ii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least ten grams and less than 100 grams; three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: five years in prison and $30,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; and

(iii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture of the substance involved is at least 100 grams; four years in prison and a fine of $25,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: seven years in prison and $50,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity.

(4)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act where the controlled substance is methamphetamine or phencyclidine or is a salt, isomer or salt of an isomer of methamphetamine or phencyclidine or is a mixture containing methamphetamine or phencyclidine, containing a salt of methamphetamine or phencyclidine, containing an isomer of methamphetamine or phencyclidine, containing a salt of an isomer of methamphetamine or phencyclidine shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a fine as set forth in this subsection:

(i)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least five grams and less than ten grams; three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: five years in prison and $30,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity;

(ii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least ten grams and less than 100 grams; four years in prison and a fine of $25,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: seven years in prison and $50,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; and

(iii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 100 grams; five years in prison and a fine of $50,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: eight years in prison and $50,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity.

(5)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, and who, in the course of the offense, manufactures, delivers, brings into this Commonwealth or possesses with intent to manufacture or deliver amphetamine or any salt, optical isomer, or salt of an optical isomer, or a mixture containing any such substances shall, when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least five grams, be sentenced to two and one-half years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: be sentenced to five years in prison and $30,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity.

(6)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act where the controlled substance is methaqualone shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a fine as set forth in this subsection:

(i)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 50 tablets, capsules, caplets or other dosage units, or 25 grams and less than 200 tablets, capsules, caplets or other dosage units, or 100 grams; one year in prison and a fine of $2,500 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: three years in prison and $5,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; and

(ii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 200 tablets, capsules, caplets or other dosage units, or more than 100 grams; two and one-half years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: five years in prison and $30,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity.

(7)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act where the controlled substance or a mixture containing it is heroin shall, upon conviction, be sentenced as set forth in this paragraph:

(i)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the heroin involved is at least 1.0 gram but less than 5.0 grams the sentence shall be a mandatory minimum term of two years in prison and a fine of $5,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: a mandatory minimum term of three years in prison and $10,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity;

(ii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the heroin involved is at least 5.0 grams but less than 50 grams: a mandatory minimum term of three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison and $30,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; and

(iii)  when the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the heroin involved is 50 grams or greater: a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison and a fine of $25,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: a mandatory minimum term of seven years in prison and $50,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity.

(8)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(12), (14) or (30) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act where the controlled substance or a mixture containing it is 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA); 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA); 5-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MMDA); 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine; N-hydroxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine; or their salts, isomers and salts of isomers, whenever the existence of such salts, isomers and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation, shall, upon conviction, be sentenced as set forth in this paragraph:

(i)  When the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 50 tablets, capsules, caplets or other dosage units, or 15 grams and less than 100 tablets, capsules, caplets or other dosage units, or less than 30 grams, the person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding five years or to pay a fine not exceeding $15,000, or both.

(ii)  When the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 100 tablets, capsules, caplets or other dosage units, or 30 grams and less than 1,000 tablets, capsules, caplets or other dosage units, or less than 300 grams, the person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding ten years or to pay a fine not exceeding $100,000, or both.

(iii)  When the aggregate weight of the compound or mixture containing the substance involved is at least 1,000 tablets, capsules, caplets or other dosage units, or 300 grams, the person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding 15 years or to pay a fine not exceeding $250,000, or both.

(a.1)  Previous conviction.–For purposes of this section, it shall be deemed that a defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense when the defendant has been convicted of another offense under section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or of a similar offense under any statute of any state or the United States, whether or not judgment of sentence has been imposed concerning that offense.

(b)  Proof of sentencing.–Provisions of this section shall not be an element of the crime. Notice of the applicability of this section to the defendant shall not be required prior to conviction, but reasonable notice of the Commonwealth’s intention to proceed under this section shall be provided after conviction and before sentencing. The applicability of this section shall be determined at sentencing. The court shall consider evidence presented at trial, shall afford the Commonwealth and the defendant an opportunity to present necessary additional evidence and shall determine, by a preponderance of the evidence, if this section is applicable.

(c)  Mandatory sentencing.–There shall be no authority in any court to impose on an offender to which this section is applicable a lesser sentence than provided for herein or to place the offender on probation, parole or work release or to suspend sentence. Nothing in this section shall prevent the sentencing court from imposing a sentence greater than provided herein. Sentencing guidelines promulgated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing shall not supersede the mandatory sentences provided herein. Disposition under section 17 or 18 of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act shall not be available to a defendant to which this section applies.

(d)  Appellate review.–If a sentencing court refuses to apply this section where applicable, the Commonwealth shall have the right to appellate review of the action of the sentencing court. The appellate court shall vacate the sentence and remand the case to the sentencing court for imposition of a sentence in accordance with this section if it finds that the sentence was imposed in violation of this section.

(e)  Forfeiture.–Assets against which a forfeiture petition has been filed and is pending or against which the Commonwealth has indicated an intention to file a forfeiture petition shall not be subject to a fine. Nothing in this section shall prevent a fine from being imposed on assets which have been subject to an unsuccessful forfeiture petition.

(f)  Growing plants.–When the controlled substance is marijuana in the form of growing plants and the number of plants is nine or less, weighing may be accomplished by law enforcement officials utilizing any certified scale convenient to the place of arrest for the purpose of determining the weight of the growing marijuana plant. The aggregate weight of the plant is to include the whole plant including the root system if possible. The weight is not to include any substance not a part of the growing plant.

See also:

Drug Possession

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