New York City Drug Crime Lawyer
Drug charges are the most common crime brought in state and federal courts in New York. There is a huge variety of drug charges that prosecutors may seek with penalties ranging from a small monetary fine to possibly life in prison. As a result, it is extremely important that you work with an experienced NYC drug crime lawyer for your criminal defense.
Generally, the severity of the penalties you face such as whether you face a misdemeanor or felony charge will depend upon three factors. These include the type of drug you are accused of possessing, the amount of the drug involved, and whether the drug was for your own use or the use of others. If you’ve been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, you must consult with a Manhattan drug crime lawyer to weigh your options.
Types of Drug Charges in NYC
There are many different types of drug crimes in New York. Some of the most common charges that a New York City drug crime lawyer defends against include:
Possession of a controlled substance in New York City typically involves an individual possessing some quantity of drug for his or her own use. Because drug possession involves someone’s personal use, the amount of the drug at stake is usually very small. Prosecutors may assume that an individual possessing larger sums of the drug intends to sell or distribute the drug. Some convicted of drug possession can face misdemeanor charges and may even avoid jail time. This often results in being charged with 7th-degree criminal possession.
Drug distribution is also commonly referred to as the crime of drug dealing. Prosecutors may assume that someone with a large quantity of a drugs intends to distribute. Additionally, equipment and devices in your possession, such as scales and baggies, may also support that you intend to distribute the drugs in your possession. Drug distribution can be a serious felony charge that involves significant jail time and other penalties.
The manufacture of drugs can include a wide range of activities such as growing marijuana in your basement or creating a meth lab. Just like drug distribution, prosecutors treat drug manufacturing as a very serious crime, typically involving a felony charge and long prison sentences.
The crime of drug trafficking generally involves an individual or group of individuals smuggling drugs across state or federal lines. Drug trafficking is almost always a federal offense and can involve severe penalties.
Conspiracy. While not technically a drug crime, prosecutors often tack on a conspiracy charge to a drug offense. A conspiracy generally involves a scheme involving two or more people to commit some crime and an overt act by someone in the conspiracy towards the commission of the crime. If prosecutors believe there are multiple individuals involved in a drug crime, they almost always will add a conspiracy charge. Conspiracy charges are very serious as someone convicted of the offense could face the same penalties as the underlying drug charge. We recommend consulting with an NYC conspiracy crime lawyer immediately if you face a similar charge.
Unlawful Possession of Marijuana in New York City
In New York City, possessing more than 25 grams of marijuana is a criminal offense and considered unlawful possession of marijuana. The amount of marijuana in question determines if one will face a misdemeanor or felony charge.
- Possession of two ounces: Class B misdemeanor; punishable by up to three months in jail and a $500 fine
- Possession of more than two ounces-eight ounces: Class A misdemeanor; punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine
- Possession of more than eight ounces-one pound: Class E felony; punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine
- Possession of more than one pound-10 pounds: Class D felony; punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine
- Possession of more than 10 pounds: Class C felony; punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine
Defenses Against NYC Drug Charges
Prosecutors often build weak cases against NYC drug crime defendants or use unscrupulous methods. Many drug cases feature two recurring themes of police error that can seriously damage a prosecutor’s case. That’s why it’s crucial to plan your legal tactics with a drug crime lawyer Brooklyn and Manhattan trust.
First, law enforcement officials may violate your rights with an illegal search and seizure. Police generally need probable cause to make a stop or to search your possessions. In addition, the police may need a warrant to enter your home and an NYC arrest warrant to take you into custody. Probable cause can be difficult to prove and prosecutors have the burden to show that the police reasonably believed a crime was being committed. An experienced New York City drug crime attorney can introduce evidence and help demonstrate why such belief by the police was, in fact, unreasonable. The police similarly need probable cause to receive a search warrant. Getting a proper warrant can take some time, and many law enforcement personnel wrongly skip this important step, jeopardizing their case.
The second error that many law enforcement personnel engage in is the use of untrustworthy informants to gather information. Many of these informers are far from reliable. The informers may have their own motives to point the finger at you. For example, an informer may be absolved of his or her own crime or may get a reduced sentence as an exchange. As a result, an experienced Brooklyn drug crime lawyer knows how to chip away at the credibility of many of these informers.
Potential Penalties to a Drug Charge in New York
From a criminal possession of a controlled substance charge to a felony drug distribution charge, you should be aware that you face very serious penalties if you are convicted of a drug charge. This is true even for first-time offenders. The exact penalty that you face generally depends upon the following three factors:
The type of drug you are accused of possessing plays a key role in the potential penalties you face. For example, someone accused of unlawful possession of marijuana in New York likely faces less severe penalties than someone possessing an equal amount of heroin. Some drugs are deemed more severe and carry greater penalties.
Amount of Drug
The larger quantity of the drug you possess in New York, the greater the penalties you may possibly face. If you are accused of possession of a controlled substance in New York, you could face a severe mandatory minimum sentence even for a first-time offense.
You face less severe penalties if you intend to use the drug for your own personal use and may only be charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in New York. However, if you plan to sell or traffic the drug, you likely face felony charges and long prison sentences.
Contact the Drug Crime Lawyer Manhattan and Brooklyn Residents Trust
If you have been charged with a drug offense in New York City, it is important that you contact an experienced NYCy drug crime lawyer. The penalties for a drug crime in New York City can be very severe. As a result, you will want experienced New York City drug crime attorney Frederick L. Sosinsky on your side. With over 27 years’ experience in New York law, Frederick. Sosinsky has handled hundreds of drug crime cases in the federal and state courts in New York. To discuss the specifics of your case with Frederick Sosinsky, call (917) 933-3109.
If you need help after regular business hours or on a weekend, call my emergency line at 917-749-4420.