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New York Drug Crimes Defense Frequently Asked Questions

Every year, more than 50,000 people are arrested for crimes relating to drugs. The majority of these arrests involve drug paraphernalia, drug manufacturing, drug distribution, and drug possession. A number of substances are covered under the “drug crime” law, including methamphetamine, heroin, PCP, LSD, cocaine, marijuana, and a variety of controlled prescription drugs.

Drug use is considered a major health issue among the population. It can also lead to the perpetration of a variety of other crimes. Because of this, law enforcement officials spend a good deal of time and money on the arrest and prosecution of potential offenders. Law enforcement doesn’t always have the best interests of the defendant at heart. In many different circumstances, an accused person might have a valid defense that could cause the charge to be dismissed or reduced.

Penalties for a drug crime can be steep. The severity of the penalties will depend on the type and severity of the infraction. Drug crimes cover both misdemeanors and felonies. It’s important for you to contact a New York lawyer immediately following your arrest in order to obtain the best legal defense for your particular circumstances. Spodek Law Group is a group of experienced criminal lawyers who are able to help.

Drug Crime Types

New York state law outlines forty potential drug offenses. These relate to marijuana and controlled substances. Offenses regarding marijuana are classified and prosecuted differently from offenses regarding controlled substances. Most of the offenses involve paraphernalia, manufacturing, distribution, and possession. One of the offenses is a violation, a few are misdemeanors, and the remaining majority are felonies in varying classes.

To be charged with drug possession, you must unlawfully and knowingly possess a controlled substance or marijuana. The amount of the drug that you possess can oftentimes affect the severity of the charge. If a large amount is discovered on your person, you might face additional charges of intent to sell.

To be charged with drug selling, you don’t need money to exchange hands. New York law defines drug selling very loosely. If you give illegal drugs to another person, this counts as a drug sale, regardless of whether or not you reaped any benefits. Potential benefits don’t have to be monetary, either. Any advantage that you receive in exchange for the drugs counts as payment.

If you have a lawful prescription for a controlled substance, but you sell the pills, you might be charged with a drug selling offense without any additional drug possession offenses. This is because your possession of the drugs was legal, but the sale of them was not.

Drug selling offenses generally carry more severe overall penalties than drug possession offenses. Meanwhile, drug manufacturing offenses refer to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. Finally, drug paraphernalia offenses refer to the possession of equipment and substances that you would need to package, store, and make drugs in order to sell them. Also included on the list of drug paraphernalia are needles and hypodermic syringes.

Drug Crime Defenses

Your criminal defense attorney might use any of these viable defenses:

  • The substance in question is not an illegal drug
  • You possess the substance lawfully
  • You do not meet the minimum requirements for the amount needed for a drug possession or selling charge
  • You did not possess the illegal substance knowingly
  • You were either a witness to or a victim of a drug overdose
  • The search and seizure of the drugs was performed unlawfully
  • The sentencing for your conviction should be reduced because of any number of factors
by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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