New York City Narcotics Defense Lawyer
New York takes the illegal manufacture and sale of narcotic drugs extremely seriously. Beyond that, however, even simply having these drugs in your possession can be a felony level offense. The severity of the offense is determined by a number of factors, including the amount of the drug and whether the possessor intended to sell or distribute them.
No matter the type of narcotics violation that you may be facing, a New York narcotics defense lawyer may be able to help. Among many other efforts to protect your best interests, a qualified drug defense attorney could explore the police work that led to your arrest, contest the result of any toxicology reports, and cross-examine the State’s witnesses at trial.
How Does New York Punish Narcotics Possession?
According to New York Penal Law §220.03, the possession of any illegal substance, no matter how small an amount, is a class A misdemeanor. This means that a conviction can result in a jail sentence of up to one year.
Allegations of illegal drug possession become much more serious as the amount of the drug increases. For example, a person must possess only half a gram of a narcotic for a possession charge to become a class D felony under New York Penal Law §220.06. A conviction for any felony drug charge in New York may result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Increased Penalties for Intent to Distribute
Beyond the simple possession of a narcotic, New York Penal Law also punishes possession of narcotics with the intent to distribute them. If the police arrest and charge a person with intent to distribute a narcotic, the amount of the drug possessed by the alleged distributor is irrelevant. Under New York Penal Law §220.16(1), charges of narcotic distribution are always class B felonies.
Possession with intent to distribute cases often rely on circumstantial evidence, such as multiple smaller packages of the drug in question, scales, large amounts of cash, packaging materials, and customer lists. Law enforcement may obtain such evidence during the execution of a search warrant and use it in an attempt to prove intent to distribute.
Finally, the most serious narcotic allegations involve the actual sale of the drug. In the rare instance where an alleged narcotic distributor is caught in the act of selling a half-ounce or more of a narcotic drug, they may be charged with a Class A-II felony, or a Class A-I felony if the amount sold exceeds two ounces. A New York narcotics defense lawyer could mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.
Speaking with a New York Narcotics Defense Attorney
Allegations involving narcotics are always serious. It does not matter if you are accused of selling narcotics, intending to sell them, or simply with illegal possession—narcotic charges are almost always felony-level crimes. Convictions for narcotics-related charges typically result in jail time, not to mention they could label you as a felon for the rest of your life.
A New York narcotics defense lawyer may be able to prevent this from happening. They could work to evaluate the legality of the police work that led to your arrest, conduct an independent investigation of the charges when appropriate, and defend your rights and best interests during every court appearance. Take an important step towards protecting yourself and contact a qualified narcotics defense attorney today.