There are many forms of drug possession and distribution ranging from misdemeanor to serious felony cases. Generally simple possession of a schedule three drug such as marijuana is a misdemeanor and there are alternatives to conviction available for first offenders. Schedule one and two drugs such as heroin and cocaine are felonies and have greater consequences but still have a first offender program available. Distribution is generally more serious and carries greater penalties than simple possession.
Drug cases are one of the most defendable types of cases. Often there are search and seizure issues involving the discovery of the drugs. There are also very often statements and confessions that can be suppressed if improperly obtained. In addition to that there are often issues with field testing and laboratory analysis of the drugs and chain of custody questions that arise.
There is a great deal of flexibility in dealing with these cases and an attorney can evaluate your situation and advise you of the best alternatives for resolving your case.
There is one additional factor that usually appears in drug cases. Invariably the police will attempt to gain your cooperation in identifying users and sellers and making drug buys on behalf of the police in exchange for consideration in your case. It is strongly suggested that you do not cooperate with the police until you have consulted with an attorney who can communicate with the police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney to iron out a binding agreement of what consideration you will receive if you do cooperate. An open ended agreement with the police is not a good idea.