New York City Heroin Defense Lawyer
The rise in the use and sale of—as well as overdoses involving—opiates in New York has prompted legislators and prosecutors to crack down on all criminal acts involving such drugs. Possession of a half-gram or more of heroin for personal use is a felony-level offense in New York, and allegations of selling or intending to sell heroin carry even harsher penalties.
New York Penal Law delineates various levels of heroin charges based on the amount of drugs found, the alleged possessor’s reasons for having the drug, and the identity of the drug itself. A New York heroin defense lawyer may help you interpret this system and determine the potential severity of your charge. Work with a qualified drug attorney that could identify possible defenses, and work to defend your rights.
New York’s Heroin Laws
New York classifies opiates such as heroin as narcotic drugs. Specifically, heroin is a schedule 1 drug, which means that the State considers heroin among the most dangerous of drugs.
This perspective is reflected in the severity of penalties available for possession of heroin. The possession of any illegal drug is a crime, but the possession of even a half-gram of heroin is charged as a class D felony under New York Penal Law §220.06.
The greater the amount of the drug found in a person’s possession, the greater the potential penalties. For example, if a person is found to be in possession of one-eighth of an ounce of heroin, they may face a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, which is a class C felony. This can increase to as high as a class A-1 felony for possession of eight ounces or more.
Selling and Distributing Heroin
If a prosecutor charges a person with possession with intent to sell heroin, the charges are much more serious no matter the amount of drug. New York Penal Law §220.39 states that the intended sale of any narcotic drug, regardless of the amount found, is a class B felony. Intent to distribute can be inferred from the presence of multiple packages of drugs, the presence of measuring scales, or large quantities of cash.
Furthermore, if police catch a person in the act of selling at least a half-ounce of heroin, the minimum penalty is a class A-II felony according to New York Penal Law §220.41. This means that a conviction could carry a mandatory prison sentence of between three and ten years.
A New York heroin defense lawyer could work with those charged to help them understand the charges and to formulate a defense based on the specifics of their case.
How A New York Heroin Defense Attorney Could Help
Drug charges involving heroin are among the most serious under New York Penal Law. People found with even a small amount of an opioid in their possession can be charged with a felony. Greater amounts of the drug can increase the potential penalties and include mandatory minimum prison sentences, as can allegations of distributing and selling heroin or other controlled opiates.
Any allegations involving heroin may require a strong defense in court, a service which a well-practiced New York heroin defense lawyer could provide. If retained, your attorney could work to examine toxicology reports, file motions to exclude all illegally obtained evidence, and argue your case at trial. Get in touch today to discuss your case and start examining your options.