New York Drug Possession Frequently Asked Questions
New York state has seven different drug possession crimes, and all but one of those charges is a felony. Therefore, it is in your best interest to talk with an attorney to learn more about the legal process and how to protect your rights. During a consultation, a prospective attorney could answer a variety of questions related to your charge.
What Should You Do After Being Taken Into Custody?
The best thing that a person can do after being taken into custody is to be silent. You are under no obligation to answer any questions or make any statements to the police or any other authority figure. If you do say anything to the police, an attorney may be able to get that statement suppressed. It may also be possible to get any evidence obtained through such a statement suppressed as well.
What Are the Steps in the Legal Process?
After being taken into custody, you will be taken to jail for processing. You may have to see a judge to determine whether bail will be granted. If it is, you will be given the opportunity to pay it in exchange for being released. Your previous record as well as the facts of the current case will determine how much will need to be paid. A judge may place conditions on your bail such as implementing a curfew or placing a ban on using drugs or alcohol.
A grand jury may be convened to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial. If necessary, a trial date will be set. Prior to that date, there is a chance that a case will be settled or dismissed. An attorney may be able to get some or all penalties reduced or dropped in exchange for a guilty plea.
If a case is not settled or dismissed, a trial will take place either in front of a jury or with the judge deciding your fate. During this proceeding, your legal counsel may be able to cast doubt on witness testimony or otherwise move to create doubt that you are guilty. In the event that you are found guilty, you will be sentenced by a judge. Alternatively, your attorney could appeal the ruling.
What Are the Penalties for a Conviction?
If you are are convicted of a drug crime, there are a variety of penalties that you could face. While it is possible that you could go to prison, there are alternate sentences available depending on the type of crime that was committed. For instance, you could be ordered to spend time in a drug treatment facility instead of going to jail or after being released.
Can a Conviction for a Drug Crime Be Sealed?
Whether or not a drug conviction can be sealed depends on the type of crime committed. If you were charged and convicted of a nonviolent crime, you could ask that the conviction be sealed after 10 years. In the event that your request is granted, employers and others who do a background check won’t see that past conviction.
When you are charged with a drug crime, it is important to know your rights and how to preserve them. To increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case, visit criminallawyersnyc.com to find an attorney who may be able to act as your advocate