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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Chester County Drug Enforcement

Chester County is one of the most vigilant counties when it comes to controlling the movement and sale of illegal narcotics within its borders and uses a number of different techniques in order to enforce it’s drug laws. Due to this severity, anyone charged with any type of drug offense in Chester County should seek the services of a Chester County drug lawyer to work to minimize the sentence, enter a diversionary program, or even be acquitted.

Common Offenses

The most common drug offenses that Chester County police are cracking down on involving the possession of controlled substances which is defined by the schedule of controlled substances that a person cannot have legally on the streets of Chester County. It is these drug crimes of possession and use which often lead to other crimes that affect society and the civility of life in Pennsylvania. Police often focus on Chester County drug enforcement because they aim to reduce the volume of other crimes by controlling the possession and use of illegal drugs on the streets of Chester County.

Additionally, they focus on manufacturing and felony possession with intent to deliver. For police to control the use, they must also focus their efforts on controlling the sale. Many resources, like confidential informants, undercover buys, videotaping, and canine sniffs are used in prosecuting and building cases against drug dealers in Chester County.

Local Laws

Chester County local ordinances come into play, especially with drugs such as marijuana. While larger municipalities have in some ways attempted to decriminalize marijuana, it is not so in Chester County. Therefore, local codes and ordinances only support what state legislatures have already set.

Drug schedules are laid out as schedule one through four in the Pennsylvania narcotics and crimes codes. As a result, an individual can be charged with a variety of crimes involving any controlled substances.

Consequences for Drug Offenses

Enforcement of drug possession starts with rehabilitation in Chester County. For those with the first, second, or even third offense, Chester County offers many alternatives to incarceration when an individual is charged with a possessory drug offense. A drug treatment court exists, a Section 17 disposition is allowed, and in some rare cases, first-time offender programs, such as ARD or IP, can also be used to help that individual get treatment and avoid incarceration. However, in more extreme cases where an individual is in possession of large amounts of illegal substances, those individuals are not treated as mere possessory or mere users. They are treated as sellers, and as a result, Chester County treats them as the root of the problem.

Therefore, to avoid such consequences, whether the person is a user, an alleged user, a dealer, or an alleged dealer, having an attorney who knows the system, works with the system, knows the programs, and knows how to complete those programs the right way is essential in avoiding incarceration for any of these crimes.

Constitutional Issues

In Chester County, like the rest of Pennsylvania, constitutional issues often come into play when dealing with drug and/or narcotics cases. For the most part, constitutional issues involve searches of an individual’s person, property, or place of abode. In these cases, police cannot merely stop a person on limited suspicion or enter a person’s home, vehicle, or other location without probable cause. A warrant is required in most cases to search an individual’s home or probable cause and/or reasonable suspicion when an individual is stopped, spoken to, and searched on the public streets.

Therefore, having an attorney who understands both the Pennsylvania constitution, which gives even greater protections and the United States Constitution, on a person’s side is helpful since often the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States constitution come into play. These amendments allow an experienced lawyer to challenge a stop, and, in many cases, suppress or disallow the government from even introducing the drugs that were obtained in a particular case.

Without the drugs, a case can be dismissed, an individual could be found not guilty, and an acquittal can be won. For this reason, it is essential to make sure that the law was properly followed when an individual was stopped and/or searched as well as their home, car, or other location.

The accused should also seek out the knowledge of a qualified drug lawyer to help ensure a thorough investigation is done to determine whether or not the proper probable cause existed for such a stop.

Contacting a Lawyer

When any allegation of drug usage and/or drug sale is known in any way, shape, or form, the first call that should be made is to an attorney who is experienced in such an area. At the first sign that an individual feels they are being investigated for any such drug crime in Chester County, they should reach out to an experienced lawyer with the knowledge and resources in drug prosecution that is often put forward in Chester County. Police have countless dollars and resources to prosecute cases, which is why it is so important for a person to have a strong defense on their side. After contacting a lawyer, a person can have the opportunity to better understand the legal system and to combat their charges.

An individual needs an experienced lawyer and a robust defense on their side to fight for their rights and their freedom and should contact an attorney to do so at the first sign of any sort of allegations of drug use and/or drug sales.