Westchester County Drug Lawyer

New York’s criminal statutes concerning the possession, manufacture, and distribution of illegal substances vary greatly.

Depending on the amount of the drug that the prosecutor claims the defendant held, the type of the drug, and what the defendant was alleged to be doing with it, a drug conviction can result in a punishment as simple as a fine or a maximum sentence involving lengthy prison terms.

A Westchester County drug lawyer could help those charged with drug crimes fight these allegations in court and tailor defenses to the specific circumstances following the arrest. Individuals should work with a skilled criminal defense attorney that could build them a solid case.

Drug Offenses

The mere possession of a controlled substance is a criminal act in New York. According to New York Penal Law §220.03, any person who knowingly possesses any controlled substance is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. This means they can be punished by up to one year in jail and face a fine of up to $1,000.

Marijuana Possession

One notable exception is the possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana. New York has chosen to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and has made this allegation a simple civil violation.

According to New York Penal Law §221.05, the first possession of marijuana offense is only punishable by a fine of $100. However, it should be noted that if a person is caught with marijuana in a public place, or the weight is in excess of 25 grams, the allegation becomes a Class B misdemeanor carrying a potential jail sentence.

Possession of Narcotics

More serious charges are brought when the drugs alleged to be in the defendant’s possession are a narcotic drug or an opioid. New York’s drug laws are complex, but simply being in possession of eight ounces or more of a narcotic drug is serious enough to count as a Class 1-A felony that can carry jail sentences of up to 25 years in prison.

It is also considered a much more serious accusation when a person is charged with the selling of an illegal substance. Under New York Penal Law §220.31, this crime is considered a Class D felony.

Potential Defenses Against Drug Charges

Drug cases can be notoriously difficult for the prosecution to prove. Remember, it is always the burden of the State to prove all the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The first line of defense for any case is to examine the police work that led to the arrest.Most drug charges come after the police conduct an arrest and search the defendant for that arrest. Others come after the police execute a warrant applied for in court.

Every step of these police procedures must be carried out in accordance with a defendant’s Constitutional rights. If any of those rights were violated, the evidence gained as a result are excluded from a trial.

Many other cases rely on the testimony of unreliable witnesses. In some situations, a person is only testifying in order to receive more lenient treatment in their own criminal cases. In others, the police use confidential informants who may not be upstanding citizens in their own right. Westchester County drug lawyers could examine each case from every angle to determine the best plan of attack that can result in the best chance of success.

Speaking With a Westchester County Drug Attorney

Whether a person’s goal is to come to a fair plea deal in the hopes of avoiding jail time, or they intend to fight the charges at trial, a Westchester County drug lawyers could help. An attorney could examine every aspect of a case to provide an aggressive and thorough defense. Contact a lawyer to see how they can help you.