NY controlled substance lawyers
New York Possession of a Controlled Substance
There are more than 50,000 individuals in New York who are arrested for drug offenses every year. The majority of these arrests are drug possession, drug manufacturing, drug paraphernalia, and drug distribution. Some of the drugs involved may include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or prescription drugs.
The use of illegal drugs can cause serious health problems as well as result in further criminal activity. In New York, prosecutors pursue drug offenders aggressively and spend millions of dollars each year to prosecute those accused of drug crimes. Due to the fact prosecutors are under pressure to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, it can cause them to make mistakes. Those who have a valid defense to a drug offense may get the charges lessened or dismissed if they have a skilled attorney by their side.
According to New York laws, controlled substance drug possession charges can vary based on several factors. These factors may include the type of drug that is involved and the severity of the offense. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree is the least severe charge among this type of criminal offense. This is a Class A misdemeanor and can result in a jail sentence up to one year according to New York Penal Law 220.03.
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree is the least severe felony charge of a controlled substance, which is a Class D felony. This crime takes place when an individual sells a certain amount of a specific drug, such as cocaine, GHB, ketamine, and more. This charge is a Class D felony and can lead to a seven year prison sentence as stated in New York Penal Law 220.06.
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree takes place when an individual has a certain amount of narcotic paraphernalia, which may include methamphetamine preparation equipment. This charge is a Class C felony and is punishable with a prison sentence up to 15 years according to New York Penal Law 220.09.
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, and possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is when individuals are in possession of larger quantities of drugs. This charge is a Class A-I felony and could result in a sentence of life in prison.
What are Some Defenses to Drug Possession Charges?
The Substance Wasn’t an Illegal Drug
There are times when individual is in possession of a substance that looks like an illegal drug but isn’t. In these circumstances, charges against the accused will be dismissed. An example would include legal prescription medication that resembles illegal pills. In addition, may designer substances can resemble illegal drugs that are considered to be controlled substances, but a chemical test can conclude an individual wasn’t in possession of a controlled substance.
The Accused was in Lawful Possession
There are are some drugs that are legal when an individual has a prescription issued by a doctor. An example may include an individual who has a prescription for OxyContin but is arrested by a police official who falsely assumed the accused was in illegal possession of the substance.
Absence of Knowing
For an individual to be convicted of a drug offense, he or she must have been in knowing possession of the substance. For example, if an individual can prove that he or she was under the assumption a friend provided them with a legal drug, but it was actually illegal, it could lead to a dismissal of a drug crime charge.
A Victim or Witness of an Overdose
When an individual is the victim or witness of a drug overdose, and he or she seeks healthcare and is arrested after treatment, he or she can’t be charged with drug possession according to New York Penal Law 220.78.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
According to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, search and seizure procedures must follow strict guidelines to be considered legal. Although police officials can seize illegal substances that are in plain sight to use for evidence with a drug possession charge, they are not allowed to perform an unlawful search. When the search was ruled to be invalid, it will eliminate all evidence from being used in court.
Sentencing for Drug Possession
The sentencing guidelines for drug possession can vary based on the classification of the drug offense. The maximum sentence for criminal possession of a controlled substance is a life sentence, as it is a Class A-1 felony. Other factors that can determine sentencing are past arrests and convictions. If you have substance abuse problem, you may be able to participate in an alternate program through Drug Treatment Court.
If you are facing drug possession charges, the best course of action is to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience handling drug possession cases.