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

October 18, 2018By 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

Tags: drug, drug attorney, Drug Charges, drug lawyer, Drugs, schedule controlled substances,

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About the Author

Brian Manchester is the owner of Manchester and Associates in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. His law firm practices DUI and Criminal Defense exclusively throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania in both state and federal court. He has a team of two other lawyers with a combined 50 years of trial and courtroom experience are also trained in science and many other skills that are relevant to criminal defense to include the psychology of persuasion as well. One of his associates is a former District Attorney (chief prosecutor) in central Pennsylvania.   Mr. Manchester and his team routinely handle serious felony cases including murder, manslaughter, sex crimes, complex financial crimes, and serious assaults. A large part of Mr. Manchester’s practice is the defense of alcohol and drug-based DUI offenses as well as drug cases using science and analytical chemistry. Mr. Manchester has training as a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor. He is one of a handful of Certified Lawyer-Scientists as recognized by the American Chemical Society in the United States. He is a member of NCDD and is a Founding Member of DUIDLA. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society with over 170,000 members across the world. To date, he is the only practicing criminal defense lawyer to belong to the Society of Forensic Toxicologist where he is an Associate Member. Mr. Manchester speaks nationally on the topic of blood and drug testing for alcohol as well as the metrological (measurement uncertainty) in forensic testing.

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Client Testimonials

  • “Mr. Manchester is the lawyer I would hire if accused of DWI. He is concerned for his clients and aggressively defends their cases. He has completed the most rigorous training to be one of the best DWI lawyers in the State. His determination and knowledge will serve you well when he is your attorney.”
  • “I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Manchester is well versed with the evidential pitfalls of hospital blood testing. With this knowledge, he has been able to effectively represent those accused of alcohol related offenses. Recently, Mr. Manchester has provided me with assistance on a complex blood analysis case.”
  • “I am both surprised and proud to be one of the first lawyers to highly recommend Brian as a criminal defense and DUI lawyer. Brian’s knowledge of criminal defense, and especially in the area of DUI, is unmatched. Not only does Brian possess a great working knowledge of the law, he has also dedicated himself to the underlying science necessary to successfully defend DUI and criminal cases involving blood test results. Brian is committed to excellence and receives my recommendation without reservation to those looking for a knowledgeable and committed criminal defense or DUI attorney.”
  • “Attorney Manchester is well-known for his strong work ethic. He is the type of attorney that you would like to have involved in your case. Known as a person who stands up for principle, Attorney Manchester has the guts that is needed (but sadly is missing in a lot of criminal defense attorneys) to defend the citizen accused. He is certainly not afraid to defend people who have been accused by the government of being in violation of the law. His favorite two words seems to be “Prove it!””
  • “Brian Manchester is a knowledgeable, dedicated attorney, with the skill and ability to successfully defend citizens who are accused of driving under the influence. I highly recommend Brian.”

What Law Enforcement Says about Brian Manchester



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