It is no secret that Pennsylvania prosecutors would usually try to file as many charges as possible against you if you get arrested with a drug charge. What happens afterward might not be as intuitive — unless you understood how the justice system in the state works.
There are several factors that could contribute to the eventual outcome of any drug case you find yourself involved in. For example, you could secure a promise of reduced charges by pleading guilty to certain offenses. Most people have heard about these plea bargains, but there may be other factors you do not know about.
One important element of the court system that you might overlook in this case is its responsibility to secure justice for victims. Drug charges in particular, in which the victim is usually a government, may lead you to forget this crucial point. It is important to know that, as discussed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, police offices across the state are now treating certain drug offenses as crimes with specific, non-governmental victims.
Prosecutors are now using a specific law for delivery offenses that result in a user's death. This increasingly popular tactic means that any drug dealing charge you might face could potentially be a class 1 felony. Remember that it is usually a good idea to take your rights seriously during an encounter with law enforcement or other state officials — they could suspect you of a much more serious crime than you realize.
A conviction of this type of felony could put you in jail for 20 to 40 years. Many factors could affect your sentence, including your criminal record, the disposition of the family of the victim and the efficacy of your overall defense strategy. Since this is only generalized information, please do not apply it as legal advice to any factual situation.