Whenever you are under investigation for or have already been charged with a narcotics offense, you need to contact a drug defense attorney at Protass Law PLLC right away. We will listen to your story, thoroughly review your case, provide you with a helpful criminal defense overview, and lay out your options moving forward.
The possession and distribution of drugs is prohibited by both state and federal law. That means that anyone caught possessing and/or distributing (that is, “dealing”) drugs could be prosecuted in state or federal court - or both.
The drug possession laws in New York are harsh compared to those in other states. When passed roughly 40 years ago, New York’s “Rockefeller Drug Laws” set new standards for states looking to get tough on narcotics offenses. Although those laws have been moderated in recent years, New York still punishes drug possession severely.
New York law recognizes two types of controlled substances: illegal drugs (such as heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and other non-prescription substances that have a high probability for addiction and abuse), and prescription medications (such as Oxycodone and Hydromorphone, which are obtained from a physician by prescription only). All such controlled substances are divided into five “schedules.” Schedule I drugs have no recognized medical purpose and are highly addictive. The remaining four “schedules” list drugs with gradually decreasing addiction and abuse potential.
The penalties for the possession of drugs falling into one of these "schedules” varies based on the type of drug and the amount possessed. There are currently six offenses stemming from the possession of controlled substances (excluding marijuana, which has its own categories). Possession charges and their varying degrees that a drug defense attorney from our firm can help you with include:
You can be charged with this crime if there is evidence that you knowingly and unlawfully possess a controlled substance. This is a class A misdemeanor.
You may be charged with this offense if you knowingly and unlawfully possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell, a narcotic preparation, at least 1/4 ounce of concentrated cannabis, at least 500 milligrams of cocaine, or at least 1,000 milligrams of ketamine. This is a class D felony.
You will be charged with this class C felony if you intentionally and knowingly possess at least 1/8 ounce of a narcotic drug, at least 1/2 ounce of methamphetamine, at least two ounces of narcotic preparations, one gram or more of a stimulant, 25 milligrams or more of a hallucinogen, or 10 ounces or more of a dangerous depressant.
You may face this class B felony if you knowingly and unlawfully possess a narcotic drug, hallucinogen, or stimulant with the intent to sell it.
When you knowingly and unlawfully possess four ounces or more of narcotics, at least two ounces of meth, 10 grams or more of stimulants, or greater amounts of certain controlled substances, you may be charged with a class A-II felony.
You may face a class A-I felony if you knowingly and unlawfully possess eight ounces or more of narcotics and narcotic preparations.
If you’ve been charged in New York with criminal possession of controlled substances, your first call should be to an experienced drug defense attorney at Protass Law PLLC. Contact us today so we can begin preparing a thorough defense on your behalf.
Similar to criminal possession, New York has laws that criminalize the sale of controlled substances. Again, charges for the distribution of drugs depends on the drug in question, and the total amount of drugs sold.
Distribution charges and their corresponding classifications are as follows:
If you’re facing drug distribution charges in New York, contact a drug defense attorney from Protass Law PLLC for help right away.
The potential penalties for possession and/or distribution of drugs in New York varies based on a number of factors, including the level of offense charged, your criminal history, and whether your criminal conduct involved violence. In addition to imprisonment and fines, you may be required to go through drug counseling, treatment and/or post-release supervision.
Ideally, a criminal defense lawyer will prove your innocence in court. However, an acquittal at trial is never guaranteed. At Protass Law PLLC, we will mount the best possible defense and increase your chances of putting the experience behind you, whether through the dismissal of the charges against you before trial for insufficient evidence or the suppression of evidence seized from you, or through a vigorously fight for an acquittal, while also focusing on minimizing the consequences for you of a conviction. Contact a drug defense attorney at our firm to learn more.
Ever since President Nixon declared a “war on drugs” in the early 1970s, drug trafficking offenses have been among the most harshly punished federal crimes. Since then, the possession and distribution of large quantities of illegal substances - from crack to methamphetamine to Oxycodone to heroin - has generally been prosecuted at the federal level, where the penalties are typically more severe than for state drug crimes, with lengthy mandatory minimum sentences required for many drug offenses.
Like New York, the penalties for the possession with intent to distribute drugs - i.e., drug trafficking - under federal law turns on the weight of drugs at issue. For example, possessing with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, or five kilograms or more of cocaine/crack in violation of 21 United States Code (U.S.C) § 841(b)(1)(A) can result in a prison term of between 10 years and life. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B) provides for a sentence of between five and 40 years for possessing with intent to distribute between 100 grams and one kilogram of heroin, or between a half-kilogram and five kilograms of cocaine. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C) calls for a prison term of up to 20 years for any lesser amount of drugs.
If you are going up against federal prosecutors - with their enormous in investigatory resources - it’s even more important that you speak with an experienced drug trafficking lawyer.
If you are convicted of a felony drug offense (whether at the state or federal level), you may suffer any number of collateral consequences because of the background checks that - among others - employers, schools, and landlords routinely run. For example, with a criminal conviction on your record, you could have a hard time going back to school or getting a job. You could have trouble renting an apartment or buying a car. A criminal conviction could impact your custody or visitation rights with your children. A conviction for any misdemeanor or felony could impact upon your immigration status. Simply put, if you are undocumented, you face deportation.
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges in state or federal court, or if you believe you are about to be charged for your alleged involvement in a drug-related offense you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. The best thing you can do is call Protass Law PLLC. We will quickly get to know you and your case. Initially, we’ll try to negotiate so as get the charges against you dropped or reduced. If we are unable to do so, we will challenge the evidence against you in court. And, if necessary, we will tenaciously pursue an acquittal at trial and at the same time prepare to minimize the penalties and collateral consequences associated with any conviction.