Drug Offenses

norristown drug crime defense lawyers

Drug Offenses and Drug Crimes Attorney in Southeastern PA

FBI reports indicate that nationwide, drug offenses and drug-related offenses account for approximately one-third of all arrests. Additionally, drug use and abuse results in related crimes such as DUI, Retail Theft (shoplifting), property crimes and assault offenses. As a result, judges and prosecutors in Pennsylvania take drug charges seriously and convictions can result in lengthy jail sentences. If you are facing drug charges in our around Montgomery County, PA you need the help of our drug crime defense lawyers.

It is important for anyone charged with a drug related offense to retain a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling these cases. As a former prosecutor in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and as a defense attorney, I have extensive experience in handling drug cases throughout Montgomery County and the surrounding areas including Norristown, Pottstown, Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, Media, West Chester and Lancaster City.

Please feel free to contact me, Pennsylvania Criminal Drug Defense Lawyer V. Erik Petersen to discuss your case.

Aggressive Drug Crimes Defense

Police and narcotics detectives do not simply stumble across drug-crime evidence. Such evidence is obtained by using confidential informants, surveillance, consent searches and executing search warrants. There are specific rules and procedures that police must follow in using these techniques and a drug crime defense lawyer must understand the laws and be prepared to aggressively fight and challenge illegally obtained evidence on behalf of the client.

However, it is also equally important that an attorney understands the alternative options available for persons charged with a drug offense in Pennsylvania. While it is sometimes necessary to fight drug charges, there are also cases where the better strategy is to negotiate the best possible result. In Pennsylvania, that can mean applying for admission into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD Program) or seeking Section 17 Probation.

Former Prosecutor Now Fighting For You

While a plea bargain or alternative-sentence resolution is sometimes the best option, it is vital that you choose an attorney who is not hesitant to take a matter to trial. Prosecutors can sense when an attorney is afraid of trial and will be less inclined to offer the best possible deal.

As both a prosecutor and defense counsel, I have a great deal of experience in trying criminal cases. I have a thorough understanding of criminal defense practice and effective representation and am proud of my ability to “come up big” in big cases. I take every case seriously and work hard to give my clients outstanding representation.

Federal prosecutors and district attorneys put a great deal of effort and resources into the prosecution of drug offenses. A defense attorney cannot be surprised or intimidated by the resources involved in drug prosecutions. Rather, an attorney must be prepared to devote the necessary resources to ensure a zealous and successful defense.

Defending Pennsylvania Drug Cases

As a former Assistant District Attorney in the Montgomery County, PA District Attorney’s Office and now a Montgomery County defense lawyer for those charged with state and federal crimes, I have handled many serious crimes including drug offenses. I have professional relationships with experts in many fields including private investigators, toxicologists, forensic psychologists, polygraphists (lie detector practitioners) and forensic computer experts.

I frequently use such experts to help me evaluate and defend Pennsylvania drug charges. Given my experience and my relationships with such experts, I have the knowledge and experience to obtain the best possible result for any client charged with a drug offense.

Pennsylvania Drug Offenses and Crimes Charges

Local, state and federal law enforcement continue to be vigilant in America’s war against drugs. It is true that some jurisdictions, such as California, Colorado and New Jersey, have become more liberal with respect to marijuana laws. The reality, however, is that more drug-related cases are brought before the courts then ever before and prosecutors continue to push for maximum penalties.

For those charged with drug possession or any other drug-related crimes, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

I am Drug Crime Defense Attorney V. Erik Petersen, a criminal defense attorney in Montgomery County, PA with significant experience handling drug-related cases. As a former prosecutor, I know how the judicial system works from both sides. This knowledge allows me to build an effective defense on behalf of my clients. Please click here to contact my law firm based in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, to schedule a consultation.

State And Federal Drug Crimes

As a Blue Bell criminal defense attorney with more 20 years of experience practicing law, I understand the implications a drug conviction will have on the lives of my clients. I have seen how a bad decision made by a juvenile, college or university student — or adult — can lead to prison time, a permanent criminal record and limited job opportunities.

In my criminal defense practice, it is my goal to protect the rights, the freedom and the future opportunities of my clients. I offer aggressive defense services for those charged with state and federal drug offenses, including:

  • Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver / Distribute
  • Manufacture
  • Transportation
  • Distribution/trafficking
  • Conspiracy

I handle misdemeanor and felony drug cases involving all types and quantities of illegal drugs (including marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine) and prescription medications (including Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Lunesta, Vicodin, Norco, Oxy and Adderall).

Possession With Intent to Deliver: Avoid Mandatory Sentencing

If you have been accused of a felony drug charge or any other misdemeanor drug charge, it is important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. I have handled many drug cases — from major drug felony cases to misdemeanor possession cases — both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. I understand the issues that often arise in felony drug cases. I strive to provide my clients with the highest-quality representation and fight to protect their constitutional rights.

A person who has been arrested on drug charges, including felony or misdemeanor drug arrests, should act quickly to hire a criminal defense lawyer who can protect their rights and represent their interests. Feel free to call me, Plymouth Meeting Criminal Defense Lawyer Erik Petersen.

Different Types of Drug Offenses

Drug offense cases are prosecuted in both state and federal courts. I have extensive experience handling drug cases in both state and federal jurisdictions.

State court drug cases range from significant drug felonies to relatively minor drug possession cases. State court drug sentences are typically (but not always) less serious than in federal cases, although state court mandatory minimum sentences can be harsh.

The stakes in federal drug cases are usually very high. The sentencing guideline ranges for major felony drug cases can be severe. It is important to retain a lawyer with extensive experience representing defendants in all kinds of drug cases.

I handle cases involving marijuana, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, crystal meth, OxyContin, heroin, ecstasy and other drugs. The specific charges that can be alleged include:

  • Possession with intent to deliver / distribute drugs
  • Drug trafficking or drug sales
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Manufacturing a controlled substance, including operating a meth lab
  • Criminal Conspiracy charges related to drugs

Montgomery County Felony Drug Charge Defense

Achieving the best possible result in a drug case is my number one priority for my clients. Every case requires intense preparation and a unique legal strategy based on the facts and the law. Strategies for contesting a drug case can include:

  • Suppression of evidence. Federal and Pennsylvania law dictates that citizens must be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Frequently, the defense of drug cases involves contending that drugs or other evidence were seized illegally. In many drug cases, challenging searches and seizures can be the difference between a conviction and a “not guilty” verdict.
  • Possession with intent to deliver. In most felony drug cases, the prosecution must prove that the defendant not only possessed illegal drugs, but did so with the specific intent to distribute or deliver drugs to other people. In many cases, it is important to aggressively challenge whether the defendant actually intended to sell or deliver any drugs that may have been found in his or her possession.
  • Actual or constructive possession. In some cases, an effective argument can be made that the defendant was not in possession of any drugs and was not aware of any drugs that may have been found near the scene or in the possession of another person. The prosecution must prove that the defendant actually knew that drugs were present.
  • Alternatives to a drug case trial. In some cases, the best result in a drug case involves negotiating a nontrial disposition or guilty plea. Even in these cases, however, it is often important to aggressively prepare the case as if it may proceed to trial. Prosecutors rarely offer the best plea bargain offers to defense lawyers who they do not believe are prepared to vigorously fight the charges if necessary.

The consequences of a drug offense conviction can vary from probation to decades in prison. Regardless of the severity of the offense, it is important to have a lawyer on your side who is experienced with drug cases and is ready and able to present an aggressive defense. Feel free to contact me, Pennsylvania Criminal Lawyer V. Erik Petersen.

Expungement of Criminal Records

People who successfully complete the Section 17 Program or the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD Program) in Pennsylvania may petition the court to have their criminal record expunged. Such criminal records should be expunged so that employee background checks do not uncover records of the arrest or disposition.

To expunge your record, you must obtain a court order providing that all criminal agencies having any record connected with the charge or Section 17/ARD disposition be expunged and destroyed and that all information on any databases be deleted. This order should also direct all recipients to produce an affidavit assuring that all such information has been destroyed and/or deleted.

It is important to retain an attorney who will be thorough in ensuring that these state and federal agencies follow through with their court-ordered directives and destroy these records.

Forged Prescription Lawyer

Narcotics crimes no longer solely involve street or recreational drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines. Narcotics and medications typically used for medicinal purposes are now as common in drug crimes as marijuana or cocaine. Many of these medications are easily obtained in the home.

With increased computer technologies, and the increased use of the internet by all citizens, crimes involving forging prescriptions or possession of forged prescriptions are increasingly common. If you are not a doctor, being in possession of a forged prescription or prescription pad is a crime that can have serious legal penalties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

What Constitutes A Forged Prescription?

Forging a medical prescription, or being in possession of a forged prescription, is a crime in the Pennsylvania. By definition, this crime involves using a false prescription to obtain prescription or controlled drugs.

People with drug problems can find themselves in a situation where a sense of severe addiction and desperation results in attempting to obtain prescription drugs by fraud. The problem is that this is a crime that has very serious ramifications. Indeed, lobbyists for pharmaceutical companies have succeeded in convincing the Pennsylvania legislature to dramatically increase the sentencing guidelines for such crimes.

Medications That Are Commonly Obtained Via Forged Prescriptions

The types of controlled substances typically involved in forged prescription charges include:

  • Anti-anxiety Medications (Xanax, Valium, Benzo’s)
  • Painkillers (Percocet, Vicodin, Norco)
  • Anti-emetic medications (Phenergan)
  • ADD Medication (Aderal)
  • Hypnotics (Ambien, Lunesta)
  • Muscle Relaxers (Flexeril)
  • Sleeping pills such as Ambien and Lunesta

How A PA Drug Offense Lawyer Can Help You

If you are caught with a forged prescription you can be charged with a felony. If convicted you will face possible jail time. It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to aggressively defend your rights and options.

I defend those accused of criminal charges, drug crimes, DUI, property crimes, violent crimes and sex offenses throughouth Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. This includes Abington, Ambler, Blue Bell, Collegeville, Conshohocken, Haverford, Jenkintown, Cheltenham Township, Pottstown, Upper Merion Township, Upper Dublin Township, Lower Providence Township, Upper Moreland Township and Horsham Township.

Accused of a Drug Offense in PA?

drug defense lawyers

Have you or someone you love been arrested for drug possession or possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance? Depending on the charge and the circumstances, there may be a wide range of alternatives available.

In order to obtain the best possible result, an experienced drug defense lawyer is essential. At the Law Offices of V. Erik Petersen, I have over twenty-five years of experience as a trial lawyer handling these types of cases. I have handled drug offense cases both big and small. Whether you are charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana or possession with the intent to deliver any controlled substance I can help.

Back when I was an Assistant District Attorney, I prosecuted hundreds of drug offense cases. As a defense attorney, I have represented countless individuals who have been charged with either possession or possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. Several years ago, I represented an individual who was charged with trafficking over 550 kilos of cocaine.

At the time, it was Pennsylvania’s single largest drug arrest. My extensive experience in this area of the law can help you achieve the best possible result if you are facing a drug offense. To discuss your legal options in more detail, contact the Law Offices of V. Erik Petersen for a free consultation.

Pennsylvania Search & Seizure Laws

The search is the lynchpin in defending drug offenses and drug cases. Whether the police searched your car, your home, or your person, they must do so in accordance with constitutional law.

If a search warrant was obtained it must be supported by probable cause. Analyzing and attacking the search in a drug case is typically the most effective way to get the charges dismissed or reduced.

I work hard to stay on the cutting edge of search and seizure law. If the arrest involves a recorded conversation, I make sure that the police follow the Pennsylvania Wiretap Law.

I make sure that the authorities do not overstep their bounds. I zealously protect your rights.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – First Time Drug Offenses in PA

Pennsylvania has a first-time drug offender provision known as Section 17 of Pennsylvania’s Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act. This law allows many people to be placed on probation without being convicted. If the probation period (typically 1 year) is completed without any violations the criminal record can be expunged (erased) as if the offense never happened. If you are interested in this program or think you are eligible I can help.

Contact the Law Offices of V. Erik Petersen to consult with an experienced drug defense lawyer.