Articles Posted in Drugs

November 12, 2018

Drug use in College | How it can Affect One’s Life

By Brian Manchester

Statistics show that drug use in college is very common, with over 50% of college students having tried marijuana, over 30% have abused Adderall and 10% have used Ecstasy or Molly. However, few college students understand the consequences of their actions. The punishments associated with drug use will have a lasting effect on a student’s life.

  1. Fines and/or jail time

If you are a student convicted of drug possession in Pennsylvania, you will have to spend a lot of money on fines, and possibly spend some time in jail. It’s true that marijuana laws have become more relaxed as of late, but it’s still possible to be sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined up to $500 for possession of marijuana, even with a small amount. Medical marijuana patients will be considered exempt, but anyone with an expired prescription, or without any prescription, will still be charged and sentenced for marijuana possession.

Possession of other illegal drugs will result in much more serious charges. Getting caught with controlled substances such as Heroin, Cocaine, and prescription drugs can result in:

  • Up to one year in prison and up to a $5,000 fine
  • Up to two years in prison for a second offense
  • Up to three years for a third offense

Unfortunately, consequences for students go beyond legal repercussions.

The effects of having a charge on your record can overflow into school and future employment.

  1. Student aid can be revoked

Your federal student aid may also be revoked if convicted of a drug charge, yet few students realize this. This can be potentially devastating for students, especially because more are depending on their own financing for their education, rather than on their parent’s.

  1. Academic probation or suspension 

Policies for drug use vary for every educational institution and the situations are evaluated on a case by case basis. Students very commonly are placed on academic probation or sometimes suspended for getting caught with drugs. For example, the University of Pennsylvania prohibits any drug use. Drug use on this campus can result in a wide range of disciplinary actions, ranging from a mere warning to expulsion. The results will depend upon the type of drug, the amount, and if you have repeat offenses.

  1. Delayed graduation

If a student misses too many classes because of jail time, probation, or suspension from school, the student might not be able to graduate on time. If your charges are severe enough, your college might decide to withhold graduation until you have complied with rules and penalties.

  1. You might get turned down for grad school

Grad school applications ask whether the applicant has been charged or convicted with a criminal offense. Additionally, graduate schools will also run background checks in order to scan for offenses. While graduate schools might not turn down students outright, a mark on your record could give someone else a better chance over you for admission.

The side effects of an arrest and spending time in jail for a drug possession conviction can be upsetting. Many students feel like their future is jeopardized.

If you or a loved one was charged with possession of drugs, contact Brian Manchester today for help with your case. Brian Manchester will fight for you every step of the way and ensure you receive aggressive representation.

He has extensive training in alcohol and drug defense and is even a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the American Chemical Society, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Brian Manchester also regularly attends seminars that specifically focus on DUI defenses, and he was also the Educational Chairman for the Pennsylvania Association of Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys. For a free consultation, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

 

Posted in: Drugs , Title IX/Student Discipline blog ,

October 30, 2018

Adderall Drug Charges

By Brian Manchester

Adderall is a drug routinely prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Due to the fact that it is fairly inexpensive and easy to obtain, many individuals use the drug recreationally or outside of its intended medical purpose, which is especially common in colleges and universities, where students use the medication to study because it can improve stamina, increase concentration, and stave off fatigue.

The consequences of using unprescribed Adderall are severe, which comes to the surprise to many people. Since Adderall has addictive qualities and carries a potential for abuse, the medication is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that a person found in possession of Adderall without a valid prescription may face prosecution.

In some scenarios, Adderall possession can lead to criminal charges and penalties in Pennsylvania.

Can You Be Arrested for Having Adderall in Pennsylvania?

Although Adderall is legal to possess with a valid prescription, there are a few situations where the possession of Adderall can lead to an arrest and severe drug charges. Some of these situations could include:

  • The police search your car during a routine traffic stop and an officer finds a pill bottle with someone else’s name on it.
  • You are found in possession of medication that you were holding for another person.
  • You are discovered to have sold pills to another person. Selling Adderall can lead to more severe penalties than possessing unprescribed Adderall for personal use.
  • You are found in possession of a large amount of Adderall without any valid medical prescription.

Regardless of the situation, Adderall possession is a serious criminal charge with the potential to carry grave penalties, including fines and prison time.

Is it Illegal to Give Someone Adderall?

In essence, yes, it is illegal to give your prescription Adderall to another person. Regardless of whether an actual sale occurred or whether you profited from the exchange, in Pennsylvania, it is a criminal offense to share any kind of prescription medication with another person.

What is the Penalty for Possession of Adderall in Pennsylvania?

The penalty for possession of Adderall depends on factors like:

  • The amount of Adderall involved.
  • Whether or not it is your first drug offense.
  • Whether or no you had intend to sell or distribute the Adderall.

In Pennsylvania, first-offense Adderall possession is a misdemeanor.

Consquences of Adderall-related Charges

Overall, the consequences for a first-time Adderall possession can include up to one year in jail, plus a fine as much as $5,000, and your driver’s license will be suspended for six months. If it’s your second offense, you may be sentenced to up to two years in prison, while a third offense can result in a prison sentence as long as three years.

The penalties for possession with intent to distribute the Adderall are significantly more severe than the consequences for mere possession of Adderall. While simple possession of Adderall is a misdemeanor when at the first offense, a first-time possession with intent to distribute offense involving Adderall – or other Schedule II drugs – is a felony in Pennsylvania. The maximum fine is $15,000 and the prison sentence can be up to five years.

The same penalties apply to other Schedule II prescription drugs and medications, for example, include Dilaudid (hydromorphone), Demerol (meperidine), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), fentanyl, and OxyContin (oxycodone).

If you or a loved one was charged with Adderall possession, contact Brian Manchester today for help with your case. He will fight for you every step of the way and ensure you receive aggressive representation. Drug crimes carry grave legal consequences, including potential jail or prison time, expensive fines, and a permanent criminal record.

By working with a qualified and experienced attorney, it may be possible to qualify for a drug diversion program that can keep you out of jail. Because each case is different, consulting with an attorney about your specific situation is essential. For a free consultation, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

 

Posted in: Criminal Defense Blog , Drug Charges , Drugs ,

October 18, 2018

Drug Crimes In Pennsylvania and How We Know Defend Them the Right Way

By Brian Manchester

Types of Drug Cases We Defend

For 18 years I have been representing people accused of various drug crimes in Pennsylvania to include the following:

  • Drug Possession/Possession of Controlled Substances (Actual Possession, Constructive Possession)
  • Drug Production
  • Drug Trafficking/Operating as a Drug Trafficker
  • Marijuana Cultivation/Growing Marijuana
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Bongs, Pipes, Drug Equipment)
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute/Deliver (PWID)
  • Prescription Fraud
  • Selling Drugs to Minors
  • Synthetic Opioids (Alph-PVP, Bath salts, cathinones)
  • Synthetic Marijuana (K2, Spice)
  • Methamphetamine Manufacturing

My firm has experience investigating alleged crimes involving many types of narcotics and controlled substances, ranging from commonly charged substances like cocaine and marijuana (pot, weed, cannabis) to less frequently prosecuted substances such as peyote, DMT, khat, ecstacy.

We understand the unique sentencing laws and drug diversion programs that apply to each substance and use our nuanced understanding of Pennsylvania’s drug laws to fight for outcomes that are favorable to our clients.

In Pennsylvania controlled substances are categorized by schedules. Below is a list of the five different schedules and some of the drugs listed under those schedules that our clients frequently are charges with:

Schedule Controlled Substances 1 through 5

Schedule I Controlled Substances

    • Ecstasy (MDMA)
    • GHB
    • Heroin
    • LSD (Acid)
    • Marijuana
    • Peyote
    • Psilocybin Mushrooms
  • Schedule II Controlled Substances
    • Adderall
    • Cocaine
    • Fentanyl
    • Methamphetamine
    • OxyContin
    • PCP Charges (Angel Dust)
    • Vicodin
  • Schedule III Controlled Substances
    • Ketamine
    • Steroids
  • Schedule IV Controlled Substances
    • Ambien
    • Valium
    • Xanax
  • Schedule V Controlled Substances
    • Cough Syrup
Penalties for Drug Offenses

The penalties for drug charges depend on factors like what type of substance is involved, the quantity of the substance involved, and the nature of the alleged offense. Some drug crimes are graded as misdemeanors, while others are prosecuted as high-level felonies carrying years or decades of prison time.

Other penalties that can result from a drug-related conviction include probation, loss of your driver’s license, and the creation of a criminal record, which can cause problems when you are applying for jobs, loans, student programs, training programs, or housing.

Most Lawyers Focus on Entrapment – But We Focus on Test Results

Most lawyers focus on how the government came into possession of the drug evidence (search and seizure) or if the defendant was entrapped. Often times the evidence can’t be suppressed, so generally that leaves only plea negotiations and no ability to fight the charges. However, there is another defense that few lawyers ever explore let alone know how to do and that is to attack the test results.

The testing of drugs is a complex affair and there are many different methods of doing so. Some of the methods are gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy, thin-layer chromatography, and many more.

These methods generate a lot of data, in which you can find many ways to challenge the test results.

Because Manchester & Associates regularly obtains this data and looks into the test results, we’ve obtained many favorable results for our clients when all other defenses were not even available to them.

Free Strategy Session Available

If you or are a loved one are facing drug related charges, it’s important to call Manchester & Associates immediately for a Free Strategy Session.

Posted in: Criminal Defense Blog , Drugs , Scientific Defenses ,

October 16, 2017

Possession Of Heroin In Pennsylvania

By Brian Manchester

Have you or someone you know been charged with Possession of Heroin in Pennsylvania? The charge of Possession of Heroin in Pennsylvania can have very serious consequences that can include up to three years in prison and thousands in fines. At minimum you face up to one year in jail.

In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled or counterfeit substance by a person not registered under the Drug act, or a practitioner not registered or licensed by the appropriate State board, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription order or order of a practitioner, or except as otherwise authorized by this act.

Any person who violates any of this statute for the first time shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. On conviction thereof, be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding one year or to pay a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both.

Any person who violates any of this statute for the second time shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Shall be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding three years or to pay a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), or both.

What becomes very difficult in these situations is when the District Attorney’s office is decided whether or not this is a simple possession offense or if this was a Possession With Intent to Deliver offense, if this happens then the punishment move from misdemeanors to felonies. The main determination for this is how the heroin was being stored, and how much of it there is. This is a question that is determined by weigh and number of packets. However what is often over looked is what the actual substance that was found is. Is it even heroin or is it something else? This can only be determined by getting proper lab test result and determining if the samples sent to the lab were properly packages and tested. Here at Manchester and Associates we have attorneys that have been trained on the machines used for testing such substances. This training is invaluable in cases like this where mistakes in the testing can have huge consequences for the individual charged.

If you are charged with Possession of Heroin in Pennsylvania, do not talk to the police or prosecutors without an attorney. What you say will be taken out of context and used against you. If the police try to question you, exercise your sixth Amendment and tell them you want a lawyer. Do not consent to any searches of your house, computer, or phones without a proper warrant. It is extremely important to do this as this could greatly undermine your defenses.

It is extremely important to contact an experienced law firm right away if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. If you, your son, daughter, or loved one in Pennsylvania has been arrested for a crime in state or federal court in Pennsylvania you need legal representation Here at Manchester and Associates we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For a free consultation we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

Posted in: Criminal Defense Blog , Drugs ,

June 30, 2017

Synthetic Marijuana Victory

By Brian Manchester

On May 25, 2017 Attorney Brian Manchester became the first lawyer in the United States to have a synthetic marijuana analogue drug statute declared unconstitutional by a state or federal supreme court. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the case of Commonwealth v. Herman found that the former analogue based synthetic cannabinoid statute was unconstitutionally vague. They also found that in order to prove a defendant guilty of the Pennsylvania State Designer Drug statute the government must prove that a defendant knew that the compound they were selling has a substantially similar chemical structure to a scheduled drug. This is a requirement that will make it extremely difficult to prove in court.

This is a significant victory in that it is the first time ever a court recognized that an analogue based statute is too vague. Synthetic cannabinoids, also called synthetic marijuana, K2, or Spice are man made compounds designed to mimic marijuana and its effects. The compound in the Herman case was PB-22. Brian Manchester used several experts including John W. Huffman who is widely considered the best expert in the world on synthetic cannabinoids and is the creator of many different synthetic cannabinoid compounds.

Synthetic cannabinoid, K2, Spice cases are very complex cases to defend. It requires a high level of analytical and organic chemistry related knowledge. Attorney Manchester possesses such knowledge through his training at Axion Labs in Chicago as well as his membership in the American Chemical Society and his certification as a Lawyer-Scientist through the American Chemical Society. Not just that but he regularly defends these cases and is asked to consult on many other cases by lawyers from across Pennsylvania. If you or someone you know has been arrested for synthetic drugs, synthetic marijuana, K2, Spice, or any drug case call 1-800-243-4878. Very few lawyers in the country ever get a nation-wide setting precedent. Brian Manchester did and he will use those same skills to defend your case.

Posted in: Drugs ,