Westchester County Drug Conspiracy Lawyer
All drug charges can result in severe penalties, and drug conspiracy charges are no exception. Years in prison, high fines, and a felony conviction can have long-lasting effects. However, a Westchester drug conspiracy lawyer can help you fight the charges you are facing to avoid these consequences.
Drug conspiracy charges are unique in that you can be convicted without ever distributing drugs. You can face harsh penalties for drug conspiracy for merely having a conversation or making a phone call. An aggressive drug lawyer can be instrumental in building a defense in your case and advocating on your behalf.
Elements of Drug Conspiracy Charges
According to New York Penal Law §105.00, to prove a drug conspiracy, prosecutors must provide evidence showing that two or more individuals took part in an agreement to plan and commit a drug crime. They also must prove that the individuals took one step or committed an overt act to further the conspiracy or carry out the agreement as per New York Penal Law §105.20.
The act does not need to be illegal or concern illegal drugs to constitute a step toward carrying out a conspiracy. So long as someone did or said something that was designed to carry out the plan, it may be a qualifying overt act to prove drug conspiracy if the prosecution has evidence that the overall goal of the plot was to sell or distribute illegal drugs.
Once the prosecution establishes evidence of the drug conspiracy, all co-conspirators can face the same penalties. Therefore, even if someone never possessed or took any actions concerning illegal drugs, a court can punish them to the same degree as alleged co-conspirators who did possess or distribute drugs. Due to the potential severity of these charges, contacting a drug conspiracy lawyer in Westchester may be highly beneficial.
Potential Penalties in Westchester
For major drug conspiracies, the intent is typically to sell or distribute illegal drugs in a manner that constitutes a Class A felony offense. The crime of conspiracy to commit a Class A felony drug offense is a Class B felony under New York Penal Law §220.39. In this situation, all co-conspirators can face Class B felony charges, regardless of whether they are the primary force behind the conspiracy or less significant part of the conspiracy.
A Class B drug conspiracy felony offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from eight and one-third to 25 years in prison. These penalties are separate from and in addition to those for the underlying drug offense. If the prosecutor can prove that a person possessed or sold narcotics as a part of the drug conspiracy, then they can face additional drug possession or distribution charges along with the conspiracy charges.
What Evidence is Commonly Used at a Drug Conspiracy Trial?
Law enforcement and prosecutors have many options when it comes to investigating drug conspiracies. This means the evidence at trial could take many different forms. In some cases, the police will rely on testimony from confidential informants or other witnesses. In other cases, their strongest evidence could involve surveillance video or even an admission from the defendant.
Is it Possible to Withdraw from a Drug Conspiracy?
It is possible for a defendant to withdraw from a drug conspiracy. Withdrawing from a conspiracy effectively ends a person’s ties to any future criminal acts that might occur. However, it does not absolve them of any crimes they have already committed. In other words, withdrawing from a conspiracy to produce a controlled substance might shield them from future manufacturing charges, but they could still be on the hook for a conspiracy charge.
It is also important to note that withdrawal from a conspiracy cannot occur passively. Simply remaining silent and refusing to take further actions does not constitute a legal withdrawal. A withdrawal requires active and unequivocal communication, meaning that the defendant must make clear to the other members of a conspiracy that they will no longer be a part of it. A knowledgeable attorney could further advise on what constitutes withdrawal in a Westchester County drug conspiracy case.
Is Entrapment a Viable Defense in Westchester County Conspiracy Cases?
While entrapment defenses are uncommon, they could be viable in a drug conspiracy prosecution. These defenses are built on the premise that the defendant was not ordinarily pre-disposed to commit a crime. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement pressures or pushes a person that would otherwise not have committed a drug conspiracy crime to do so. If a local attorney can establish the defendant was effectively forced, coerced, or convinced to enter into a drug conspiracy, an acquittal might be in order.
Consult a Westchester Drug Conspiracy Attorney for Advice
When you are facing felony drug conspiracy charges, you need to take steps to protect your rights. Obtaining proper legal representation throughout any criminal proceedings can be crucial to reaching a positive outcome. Having a Westchester drug conspiracy lawyer on your side can be the best solution when you are facing serious charges. Call today to discuss your situation.