New York City Drug Distribution Lawyer
Drug distribution, which involves the possession and distribution of large quantities of illicit substances such as cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs, is a serious offense in New York. In fact, it has some of the harshest drug trafficking sentencing guidelines in the nation.
If you have been charged with drug distribution, contact an experienced New York drug distribution lawyer to discuss your situation and determine which legal defenses may be available to you. Let an experienced drug lawyer fight for you.
Drug Distribution Laws
Distributing drugs can mean many things, including selling, transporting, and manufacturing drugs. It is important to understand that even the mere possession of controlled substances can often result in drug distribution charges based on what a prosecutor alleges – regardless of whether that allegation is true.
What are controlled substances? According to New York Penal Law Section 220, controlled substances can include, but are not limited to:
- Cocaine and crack
- Fentanyl and fentanyl analogue (synthetic opiates)
- LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide or Acid)
- Methamphetamine (meth)
- PCP (Phencyclidine or Angel Dust)
Prescription drugs can also be considered controlled substances. In fact, drug trafficking offenses involving prescription pain killers such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin), sleeping pills and other pharmaceutical opiates continue to escalate.
According to statistics from the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs every year.
Controlled Substance Classifications, Penalties, & Fines
New York law is very specific regarding controlled substance classifications, penalties, and fines:
Controlled Substance Classifications
New York Public Health Law Sec. 3306 classifies controlled substances into five categories known as Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. Each includes numerous drug types including opiates, opium derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, stimulants, narcotics, compound mixture drugs, and more.
Drug Distribution Penalties
The laws regarding the criminal sale of controlled substances is complex, and drug distribution penalties vary depending on the type and amount of drug at issue, where the drug was distributed, and whether minors were targeted.
New York drug distribution offenses are felonies, categorized by schedules, and offenses which fall into numerous levels, classes, and degrees. For example, a fifth-degree offense is the least serious and punishable by up to two and a half years of prison for first time offenders, while a first-degree offense is the most serious and punishable by either:
- A minimum of eight to 20 years in prison for non-major drug traffickers, followed by a five year period of post-release supervision
- At least 12 to 20 years in prison for second felony drug offenders
- At least 15 years in prison with a maximum term of life imprisonment for major drug traffickers
Drug Distribution Fines
Drug distribution fines range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the circumstances. Laws surrounding drug distribution are complex and can be subjective in nature depending on the drug involved, the parties involved, the location of the distribution, the prosecutor, and much more.
With so much at stake, it is important for individuals to contact an experienced New York drug distribution lawyer as soon as they are aware that they have been charged.
How a Drug Distribution Lawyer Can Help
Drug distribution of a controlled substance is a federal offense subject to significant fines, jail time, seized assets, and more. If you have been charged with drug distribution, a New York drug distribution lawyer can help determine your legal defenses so you can decide which options make the most sense.