Rockland County Drug Trafficking Lawyer
Any allegation involving the illegal possession, sale, or manufacture of drugs in Rockland County is a serious offense. However, the most alarming drug-related charge that you could face is an allegation that you are a participant in a drug trafficking scheme.
These are charges that you have participated in the sale of drugs on a massive scale. However, prosecutors and police do not need to witness a sale to make an arrest under this law. According to the State’s drug trafficking laws, merely possessing massive amounts of drugs is sufficient to merit a charge under these statutes. For this reason, it is essential to work with a Rockland County drug trafficking lawyer who understands the law and who can help to build a compelling defense. A dedicated drug lawyer can work to protect your rights throughout the legal process to give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
What Does it Mean to be a Trafficker in Rockland County?
The common definition of a trafficker is any person who moves illegal items on a massive scale. However, the statute also includes a variety of other behavior that can result in allegations of drug trafficking.
According to New York Penal Law §220.77, it is a Class A-1 felony to be a major drug trafficker. A conviction carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of eight years and a term may rise to as many as 20 years. The statute lists three ways for a person to be considered a major drug trafficker. These are:
- Acting as the director of a drug enterprise that sells $75,000 or more of drugs in a one-year period
- Personally selling over $75,000 worth of drugs in a six-month period
- Possession over $75,000 worth of illegal drugs and having the intent to sell them
As a result, prosecutors may charge someone with drug trafficking if they sell drugs, direct the selling of drugs, or if they have a large quantity of drugs in their possession. A Rockland County drug trafficking lawyer could help explain the State’s drug trafficking law and how it applies to a case.
Commonly Trafficked Substances
A charge of drug trafficking could involve any controlled substance governed by state or federal law. That said, some of these substances are more likely than others to result in trafficking charges.
Some of the most high-profile trafficking arrests are for cocaine, methamphetamine, or marijuana. These cases typically involve large shipments that have crossed state or even federal borders on their way to Rockland County. However, trafficking charges could also be brought for other controlled substances, such as fentanyl, LSD, PCP, or prescriptions drugs.
How Do You Defend Against Drug Trafficking Charges?
Trafficking charges are highly variable. For example, one individual charged with trafficking might be directly involved in selling the controlled substance, while another person might have only transported it. Each of these individuals could have very different defense strategies at trial. However, some of the most common defense strategies in these cases include arguments for:
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Lack of evidence
- Lack of intent
- Actual innocence
- Mistaken identity
Is it Possible for Drug Trafficking Charges to be Reduced?
In some cases, the state could agree to reduce a trafficking charge to a lesser criminal offense like possession of a controlled substance. While this is not the same as a dismissal of all charges, a reduction could have a dramatic impact on the accused person’s life and future prospects. In many cases, reduced charges could make the difference between decades in prison and avoiding incarceration entirely.
However, the state will not just reduce charges on its own. An experienced attorney could negotiate a reduced charge with the Rockland County prosecutors by showing them that they lack the evidence to obtain a drug trafficking conviction.
Common Police and Prosecutor Tactics in Drug Trafficking Cases
Because a variety of behaviors can lead to charges of drug trafficking, the tactics police and prosecutors to build a case will depend on the specific circumstances. If a person faces charges of being the head of a drug enterprise, police may work to arrest subordinates in that organization to testify against them. However, these turned witnesses are notoriously unreliable and may only talk to police in exchange for a reduced charge in their own cases.
Allegations of direct selling leading to trafficking charges can be similarly difficult for prosecutors. Here, it is rare for police officers to personally witness one sale, much less enough to satisfy the $75,000 requirement. Instead, they may rely on controlled buys, 3rd party witness statements, and other unreliable means of gathering evidence to justify an arrest.
Finally, a prosecution based on an intent to sell massive amounts of drugs is similarly complex. Proving someone’s intent is always difficult. Police may attempt to seize computer records, phone records, and notebooks after obtaining search warrants to prove this intent. A Rockland County drug trafficking lawyer could help fight back against any drug trafficking theory.
Consult a Rockland County Drug Trafficking Attorney
If you are facing allegations of drug trafficking in Rockland County, you need to take aggressive steps to protect yourself. These offenses are always severe felonies that carry a required eight-year prison term. A Rockland County drug trafficking lawyer could fight tirelessly to protect your future. Call today to get started on your case.