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Pennsylvania must meet burden of proof to sustain drug charges

When local residents see reports of people being arrested on drug charges, they may automatically write these individuals off as being in the wrong. However, these individuals are entitled to tell their sides when they go to court. The government must meet its burden of proof in cases of drug charges, which recently happened to one man Pennsylvania.

A man was faces between nine years and 18 years in prison after being arrested and charged with possessing and distributing drugs. The arrest happened when police were watching the area near a stop sign. They reportedly noticed that the tags on the man's vehicle were expired.

After searching the car, police say they found more than 150 tablets or pills of various types of drugs, including amphetamine and oxycodone. In the vehicle, police reportedly also found cash and two cell phones. Following a jury trial, the man was found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Intent to distribute can be determined based on the amount of drugs discovered in a person's possession. There is a fine line between a mere drug possession charge and a charge of the intent to distribute drugsa line that could mean adding several years to a potential prison sentence. This is why these charges must be proved in court beyond a reasonable doubt when a person faces drug charges in Pennsylvania. In addition, a police search of a vehicle that results in the discovery of drugs must be deemed reasonable in a court of law. When a person faces drug charges, it is within their rights to pursue the same legal protections that anyone else who has been charged with a crime is entitled to.

Source: The Delaware County Daily Times, Philly resident nets prison bid for drug possession, distribution, Alex Rose, Sept. 10, 2013

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