Many people charged with drug-related crimes in New York City consider pleading guilty, especially if they are caught with drugs on their person or in their vehicle. They assume that the case is a “slam dunk” for the prosecution, and may not feel it’s worth the time or money to fight the charges.
However, if you plead guilty, you lose your right to present your defense. Also, a guilty plea will result in a criminal record, which could have negative consequences to your life for decades – even a lifetime. A criminal record can impact virtually all areas of your life, such as finding a job, a place to live, and receiving or retaining any professional licenses.
Simply because you were found with drugs in your possession does not mean that your case cannot be won. There are many factors to take into account that could result in your case being dismissed or a potential to plea bargain to a lesser charge. For example, the drugs could have been found as the result of an illegal search, the drugs may not have been under the control of the person charged with the crime, or there could be an illegal confession involved. Pleading guilty means losing the opportunity to challenge any problems in the prosecution’s case.
In some cases, drug charges are an individual’s first encounter with the law, and he or she is terrified of having a criminal record. If you have been charged with drug crimes, you should consult a qualified, experienced New York criminal defense attorney who can advise you of your rights before making any big decisions on your case.