New York City Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer
Drug charges in New York do not necessarily have to involve offenses related to the trafficking, sales or even simple possession of prohibited substances. In fact, it is possible for individuals to face prosecution for another category of drug-related conduct, namely the criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
Conviction in this realm has the potential to yield extremely significant ramifications, making the assistance of a New York drug paraphernalia lawyer truly invaluable. Speak to an experienced drug attorney that can advocate for you.
Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia
In order to understand the dangers of a drug paraphernalia charge, it is necessary to take a look at New York Penal Law §220.50. This statutory provision prohibits knowing possession or sale of a whole host of items that are frequently used in the making, packaging and/or sales of illegal substances.
The circumstances surrounding such a charge do not need to involve high-volume narcotics operations, but can in fact implicate a single, small-time distributor of drugs.
This offense is a Class A misdemeanor, but a subsequent violation of the same type will be treated as a Class D felony, as provided by New York Penal Law §220.55.
Types of Prohibited Paraphernalia
Broadly speaking, there are three classifications of paraphernalia that tend to produce charges in this realm. It is possible for an individual to be prosecuted for criminal use of paraphernalia if they are discovered to be in possession of:
- quinine, mannite, hydrochloride, mannitol, dextrose, lactose or other diluents, diletants and similar substances used to dilute stimulants or narcotics in a manner suggestive of the intent to illegally mix, compound or prepared controlled substances
- balances and scales used to weigh or measure controlled substances in a scenario suggestive an intent to illegally manufacture, package or distribute those substances
- gelatine capsules, glassine envelopes, vials or other tools commonly used in the packaging and preparation of single portions of stimulants or narcotics under circumstances suggestive an intent to unlawfully manufacture, distribute or assemble controlled substances
Scenarios Under Which Charges Can Issue
It should be noted that possession of the above-referenced materials alone will not be enough to result in conviction pursuant to this law. The fact is that possession of such items must be contemporaneous with that of substances that have formally been deemed stimulants or narcotics.
Among these drugs are LSD, cocaine, heroin and all related chemical derivatives. Paraphernalia possession in conjunction with substances that are not legally defined as illegal stimulants or narcotics cannot yield charges of criminal use of paraphernalia.
Negative Ramifications of Paraphernalia-Related Convictions
While a first paraphernalia offense will be treated as a misdemeanor, conviction on such a charge can still bring about serious consequences that can last for years. Those determined to be guilty of this crime will face upwards of a year in jail, but the impact does not stop there.
A record of drug-related offenses can cause job loss, difficulty obtaining future employment, negative effects on immigration status, professional licenses and even custodial rights. A second or subsequent paraphernalia conviction can come with even more onerous sanctions, making a strong legal defense strategy a necessity rather than a luxury. A qualified New York drug paraphernalia attorney can be instrumental in creating that solid legal defense.
How a New York Drug Paraphernalia Attorney Can Help
If you are in the unfortunate position of having to defend against a drug-related charge, the sooner you enlist the help of an experienced legal practitioner, the better. A New York drug paraphernalia lawyer possesses the insights and strategies necessary to boost your chances of achieving a dismissal of charges or at the very least a reduction in penalties imposed.