October 23, 2017By Brian Manchester
Have you or someone you know been charged with Possession of Khat in Pennsylvania? The charge of Possession of Khat in Pennsylvania can have very serious consequences that can include up to seven years in prison and thousands in fines. At minimum you could face up to one year in jail even as a first offender because Khat has been classified as a schedule 1 substance. If the Court determines that you planned on committing possession with intent to deliver this increases the penalties greatly.
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 whether the District Attorney will file charges of simple possession offense or Possession With Intent to Deliver. If this happens then the punishment moves from misdemeanors to felonies. The main determination for this is how the khat was being stored, and how much of it there was. This is a question that is determined by weigh and volume of the khat. However what is often over looked is what the actual substance that was found is. Is it even khat 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 khat 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.