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New York has some of the toughest drug laws in the country. Many drug charges in the state are prosecuted as felonies, meaning the convicted individual could face a minimum one-year prison sentence on top of additional penalties. Huge fines and a tarnished name are also risks of a drug conviction. There is little wonder why a person facing a drug charge anywhere in the state fears the outcome of their court appearance. Although you cannot take back what’s already been done, there are ways to fight the drug charge and reduce the worries that the charge will turn life as you know it upside down when it is time to appear in court before a judge.
Types of Drug Crimes in NY
In New York, a number of different types of drug crime charges may be bestowed upon a person. Each type of crime carries its own set of penalties and consequences, with minimum mandatory sentences required in certain criminal drug cases. Types of drug crimes in New York include:
– Drug Possession: Although marijuana is now decriminalized in the state, possessing more than two ounces of the drug is still a criminal offense. Possession in any amount of other types of drugs is a crime in the state. Depending on the amount of drugs found in your possession, it may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony crime.
– Sales of a Controlled Substance: Selling a controlled substance is a felonious crime in New York, regardless of the type of drug or the amount. However, sentences are stiffer for conviction of stronger controlled substances such as heroin than for a drug such as marijuana.
– Drug Trafficking: Producing, distributing, or selling controlled substances across state/country boundaries is one of the worst types of drug crimes an individual may face in the state of New York.
This is not a complete list of the potential types of drug crimes an individual may face in New York but does look at the most common.
What Affects Drug Penalty Consequences?
The penalty for the crime and the type of crime you are charged with vary. Many circumstances influence the sentencing guidelines the courts follow for the prosecution of a drug crime. This includes:
– Amount of substance
– Were you using the drug, selling the drug, or manufacturing the drug?
– Were you in possession of a firearm at the time the drug crime occurred?
– What type of criminal history do you have? Have you been convicted of a prior drug crime? – Does your criminal record include felonies or violent felonies?
Drug Crime Penalties in New York
Possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is decriminalized in New York, like many other states. This means a person found in possession of 28 grams of marijuana or less is guilty of unlawful possession. These individuals are not arrested but receive a citation and fine instead. The fine for up to one ounce of marijuana is $50 and the fee for possession of one-two ounces is $100.
The state isn’t so lenient when it comes to other types of drugs. The seriousness of drug possession is intense when a person is found in possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or similar drugs. These drugs pose a greater risk of addiction, overdose, and death which stiffens the penalties of a conviction if you are found in possession, selling or otherwise dealing with illegal narcotics.
Penalties for drug crimes in New York range from fines, probation, or house arrest to time in jail or prison. Stiffer penalties are enabled for people who sell and traffick drugs into the state. An experienced drug crimes attorney may be able to work out a plea agreement for a diversion program for his client, depending on the severity and circumstances of the charge.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Drug Charges
Facing drug crime charges in New York is scary, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the matter. Lawyers offer free consultations to discuss the specific details of your case and help decide the next best steps to take in the case. Take advantage of the consultation and learn why it’s so important that an attorney is by your side every step of the way. Appearing in court to answer a drug charge of any type is a bad idea in the state of New York.