Both state and federal laws prohibit the illegal possession, sale, manufacturing, and distribution of certain controlled substances. These substances may include “street” drugs like cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and crystal meth or prescription medications like Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Oxycodone. The severity of punishment depends on the type and amount of the drug involved, whether the drug was sold, manufactured or distributed, the use of weapons, and the existence of a prior criminal record.
For example, possession of a drug with the intent to distribute is more serious than simple possession. If you possessed 25 grams or less of marijuana for personal use, you would be fined $100. In contrast, if you were to sell half an ounce of cocaine it would be punishable by one to nine years in prison.
State and federal prosecutors and investigators pursue the harshest sentences available for drug-related crimes. In fact, many offenses committed in New York carry mandatory minimum sentences. Being convicted for a drug crime can lead to incarceration, substantial fines, probation, court-ordered drug treatment programs, suspension of driving privileges, community service, and random drug testing. It can also severely affect immigration issues, housing, employment and education.
In order to successfully combat drug charges in New York, it is important to have a highly competent defense attorney who understands the crucial differences in state and federal drug laws and who has experience defending these cases in various court systems.
Our firm has handled hundreds of drug cases in state and federal courts for 25 over years. Although each drug case is unique, almost all drug convictions can have adverse ramifications beyond jail time, probation and substantial fines. A conviction could affect your professional license, employment opportunities, security clearance, immigration status, child custody proceedings and many other facets of life.
The criminal justice system often focuses on punishing individuals, instead of addressing underlining issues of addiction. Schwartz & Krysinski, L.L.P., proactively supports treatment as an alternative to jail or prison. We have had remarkable success persuading prosecuting attorneys and judges that treatment — rather than incarceration — is in the best interests of our clients and the state.