" They worked very hard on my case and got me a very, very favorable outcome "
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 New York drug lawyer for your 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.
There are many different types of drug crimes in New York. Some of the most common charges that a New York drug lawyer defends against include:
Prosecutors oftentimes build weak cases against 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, says a New York drug lawyer.
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, police may need a warrant to enter your home. 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 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 New York drug lawyer knows how to chip away at the credibility of many of these informers.
From a misdemeanor possession 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:
Drug trafficking is often used synonymously with drug dealing. You can be charged with drug trafficking if you have intent to sell, distribute or transport illegal drugs. The measurement and weight of the drug will determine whether you will face a trafficking charge. Additionally, you could be charged with drug trafficking if you are caught with any amount of a drug.
How You Can Be Found Guilty of Drug Trafficking
Intent And Possession
The prosecutor has to be able to prove that you intentionally possessed illegal drugs. For example, you cannot be convicted of drug trafficking if you were driving someone else’s car and did not know that it had drugs. Simply possessing a drug is enough evidence to charged with a crime, but that does not show intent. The prosecutor also has to be able to prove that you had control of the drugs that you possessed.
The amount of the drug that you have will also depend whether you will get a charge. This can also vary depending on the type of drug. You can be charged with trafficking any time that you have an amount that is over the legal limit.
Sale, Movement And Manufacturing
You can be charged with drug trafficking even if you did not sell, move or manufacture the drug. All you have to do is have the drug in your possession and have an amount that exceeds the legal limit.
Federal Drug Trafficking
Every state has their own laws about drug trafficking. However, there are also federal laws that pertain to drug trafficking. You may face federal drug trafficking charges if you engage in an activity that crosses state lines.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
Even if you are being convicted of drug-trafficking for the first time, you may still face prison time. A drug trafficking charge can easily result in 10 or more years of prison. There are some places that have higher penalties than others.
The fines associated with drug trafficking charges can be quite hefty. The fines often range from $25,000 to $100,000. The fine for a federal drug trafficking charge can exceed $10 million.
Probation is the least serious punishment that you can get for drug trafficking. You will only get probation if you take a plea deal. There are a lot of conditions that have to be met while you are on probation. For example, you may need to get permission from your probation officer before you leave the state.
You may also have to submit to random drug tests. Additionally, you cannot break any more laws. People are typically put on probation for 12 months. However, it is not uncommon for people to be on probation for three years or longer.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences
There are laws that may require a mandatory minimum sentence. This means that you may have to serve a minimum term in prison before you can be released on parole. For example, you are sentenced to eight years in prison. The mandatory minimum is four years. You have to serve four years before you are eligible for parole.
What to Do if You Are Facing a Drug Trafficking Charge
The thing that you can do if you are facing a drug trafficking charge is to hire an attorney. Your attorney can help you even if you are already in jail. They can go the court and request that your bond be reduced. The attorney knows how the investigation will be conducted. They also know how the prosecutor will try to use the evidence against you.
Your attorney has experience representing clients who have had cases that are similar to yours. They will fight hard to get the charges dropped. Lack of knowledge, entrapment and mitigation are some of the drug trafficking defenses that can be used. Your attorney will fight hard to make sure that your case gets a favorable outcome.