Legal Sanctions

A person convicted of an offense, under the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, can face up to a 15-year prison term and/or $250,000 in fines.

In addition to monetary fines and/or prison time, a person may also have imposed upon him/herself forfeiture of assets and property, suspension or revocation of driving privileges, a "criminal record," and could face civil liabilities in addition to the criminal penalties.

Offenses pertaining to liquor and/or controlled substance violation under Title 18 and Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statures may result in strict sanctions against convicted offenders.

Under certain provisions, a convicted offender could be sanctioned up to a $15,000 fine and/or 7 years in prison. In addition, driving privileges could be suspended or revoked and civil action could be brought against the offender. Parents of minors (defined to be under the age of 21) would be notified by law enforcement agencies in accordance with provisions as mandated by law.

Federal Penalties and Sanctions for Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance

21 USC 844(a)
First conviction: Up to (1) year imprisonment and fined at least $1000 but not more than $100,000, or both.

After one (1) prior drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed two (2) years and fined at least $2,500 but not more than $250,000 or both.

After two (2) or more prior drug convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed three (3) years and fined at least $5,000 but not more than $250,000 or both.

Special sentencing provision for possession of crack cocaine, mandatory at least five years in prison, not to exceed twenty years and fined up to $250,000 or both, if:

  • First conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceed five grams.
  • Second crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceed three grams.
  • Third or subsequent crack convictions and the amount of crack possessed exceeds one gram.

21 U.S.C. 853(a)(2) and 881(a)(7)
Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than one (1) year imprisonment (See special sentencing provision re: crack).

21 U.S.C. 881(a)(4)
Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance.

21 U.S.C. 844(a)
Civil fine up to $10,000.

21 U.S.C. 862
Denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contract, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one (1) year for the first offense, up to (5) years for second and subsequent offenses.

18 U.S.C. 922 (g)
Ineligible to receive or purchase a firearm.

Revocation of certain federal licenses and benefits, e.g. pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, etc., are vested within the authorities or individual federal agencies.

NOTE: These are only federal penalties and sanctions. Additional state penalties and sanctions may apply.