A drug crime lawyer will be able to help you when you have been arrested for possession, selling, distributing, or manufacturing of illegal drugs. These drug crimes of possession, selling, and manufacturing refer to illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, crystal meth, and LSD. It may also refer to prescription drugs when possessed with no prescription. In New York today, marijuana has been legalized for recreational and medical use for adults 21 years of age or older, for as long as it is consumed in a private home or state-licensed on-site consumption site.
If you are looking for a drug crime lawyer, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 718-509-9774.
Effects of drug crime convictions
Allegations of drug crimes are serious. If convicted, you may lose driving privileges and your professional license. A large fine and a long prison sentence may be imposed. You will have a permanent criminal record that could limit future employment opportunities.
When you are being investigated for drug crimes, it is important to immediately seek the counsel of a drug crime lawyer because your statements may be used against you. Always remember that you have the right to remain silent. With your drug crime lawyer, you should be able to come up with a strong, adequate defense for the charges you are being investigated for.
Drug crimes charged
The drug crime charged generally depends on the amount in possession. If you have a smaller amount, you will be charged with possession. The higher the amount in possession, Depending on the amount in possession, the more you will be considered possessing with intent to sell or distribute.
Additional charges may be compounded, depending on your proximity to a school zone, paraphernalia, participation in a larger conspiracy, weapons charges, or driving while ability impaired. Usually, your charge may be elevated to a federal drug case when the crime involved crossing borders, when the FBI or the DEA makes the arrest, or when federal authorities take over. This usually happens when you are investigated as part of a larger conspiracy of selling, distributing, and manufacturing drugs.
Higher penalties will be imposed when a firearm was used when dealing drugs, if you have been previously convicted of a felony, if you distributed drugs to someone below 21, you used a person below 18 to help you in dealing drugs, or you are dealing or manufacturing near a school. Specific penalties largely depend on the type of drug possessed, the amount of drugs, the nature of the offense, and the defendant’s criminal record.
When facing a drug charge, it’s important to immediately seek the assistance of a drug crime lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected your story is consistent from the beginning.
Possible defenses to drug possession charges
Numerous defenses can be used when charged with drug possession. You can claim that the drugs belong to someone else. You can also question the legality of the search. You can claim police abuse of power by the police officer knowingly planting the drugs on you. You can also question the chain of custody by saying that the item seized from you was not a drug.
In New York, it is a requirement that the possession of a drug was “knowing.” If you did not know that you were possessing the drug, then you cannot be held liable. For example, if the drug was in the bag you were carrying, but you did not own that bag and it was your friend’s bag, you may have a strong defense against a possession charge.
An illegal search and seizure is unconstitutional and excludes any evidence that was acquired through that illegal search. If there was no probable cause for a police officer to stop and search you, then any drug that was found in that search cannot be admitted into evidence by the court. Without the drug itself, the prosecution’s case fails.
Police misconduct, though rare, is still practiced. One can always argue and raise that he was discriminated against and the drug was planted upon him by the police.
Chain of custody is also important in the prosecution’s case. The prosecution must prove that the item seized from you was the one actually tested as a drug, and thereafter presented to the court. The prosecution must establish how the drug changed hands until it was tested. For example, if cocaine was found in your possession, this needs to be tested to verify that it is cocaine. It could be baking soda or talcum powder. From the time it was seized, the prosecution has to show that the same item that was seized was the same item that was tested. If the item seized changed hands, the prosecution must show that the duly recorded authorized movement and custody at each stage. If there is any doubt that the item that was seized was the same item tested or the same one offered to the court, the prosecution’s case must fail due to reasonable doubt.
Drug crimes are very serious. A drug crime lawyer will first attempt to exclude all evidence that was acquired in the search. If it is not excluded, a drug crime lawyer will raise several defenses that would put doubt into the validity of the charge. If there is any doubt, the prosecution’s case will fail because it is essential that they prove the criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you have been arrested for a drug crime, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can send us an email at email@example.com or call us at 718-509-9774.