New York City Drug Possession Lawyer
Even with many states and cities taking steps to provide alternative paths for people with drug addiction problems, the official laws on the books for New York still consider possession of a controlled substance a crime.
With the exception of small amounts of marijuana, any person found to have even the slightest amount of an illegal substance in their possession can be arrested and charged. Depending upon the type and amount of the drug, potential penalties range from misdemeanors to felonies.
New York drug possession lawyers work tirelessly to defend their clients in criminal court against all illicit drug charges—possession, distribution, manufacturing and more. Work with skilled drug attorneys that can devote the time and resources necessary to build a solid defense for you.
How Does New York Law Handle Drug Possession?
The simplest form of drug possession under New York law is contained in New York Penal Law §220.03 and makes it illegal for any person to knowingly possess a controlled substance. However, a person is exempt from prosecution if the drug is found on their person when they seek immediate health care for a life-threatening emergency. For this basic level of offense, a conviction results in a Class A misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
The greater the amount of drugs found in a person’s control, the more severe the charges. There are no fewer than six categories of drug possession each with their own definitions and penalties. These categories differ in not just the amount of drugs found, but also the type of drugs.
For example, the possession of 500 milligrams of cocaine is drug possession in the fifth-degree under New York Penal Law §220.06. This is a Class D felony. However, the possession of the same weight of a hallucinogen is treated as a much harsher drug possession in the third-degree under New York Penal Law §220.16. These charges are Class B felonies.
A New York drug possession attorney could help the accused understand why they are being charged as they are and the potential penalties for conviction. Fortunately, drug charges are among the most defensible in criminal law.
Refuting Allegations of Drug Possession
It may seem as if being accused of drug possession is an open and shut case. The police find the drug on a person’s body or in their car, and all the elements are met for a conviction. However, any time that the police undertake a search of a person’s body or property, they must do so in accordance with that person’s Constitutional rights.
These rights prevent the police from searching a person without probable cause to believe that a crime has taken place. This right extends to their property and home. Therefore, the police cannot stop a person on the street on mere instinct and search their pockets. However, if the police see that same person grab a woman’s purse, they can arrest that person for theft and a body search is permitted under the circumstances.
Other cases revolve around the police’s application for and execution of a search warrant. Once again, a warrant should only be issued if there is probable cause that a crime has been committed and that evidence of that crime is likely to be found in the location. Many effective drug case defenses revolve around excluding evidence of crimes that is found during an illegal search or seizure.
Working With a New York Drug Possession Lawyer
According to New York law, it is illegal to possess any illicit drug. Even the most basic of these charges allows for a term in jail and heavy fines for conviction. The most serious allegations are high-level felonies with long prison sentences attached.
A qualified New York drug possession lawyer could work with those accused of both minor and major drug offenses, listening to each person’s concerns and goals and formulating a defense tailored to their specific needs. Every stage of a criminal case is important, so the sooner an attorney can get to work, the better chance they have of meeting goals and achieving the best possible results.Get in touch today to learn how a drug possession lawyer can help you.