Drug-related offenses are some of the most common crimes in New York. These crimes involve the illegal possession, cultivation, sales, distribution, transportation, and manufacturing of certain controlled substances, which are regulated by the government. Some controlled substances, such as cocaine, are completely illegal to possess or manufacture. Others, such as prescription drugs, are legal in certain circumstances. If you are facing charges for drug crimes in Upstate New York, you need a strong advocate on your side to defend your freedom and protect your rights.
At Passalacqua & Associates, we take an aggressive stance in defending clients facing all types of drug crime offenses in state, federal, and juvenile court, including:
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Penalties for Drug Crimes in New York
The specific penalties a defendant may face for a drug crime will vary depending on four primary factors:
- The type of drug
- The amount of drug
- The nature of the offense
- The defendant’s criminal record, if any
Enhanced penalties and even mandatory jail or prison time may apply if large quantities of a controlled substance are discovered. When law enforcement finds a significant amount of one or more controlled substances during a search, this may also lead to distribution or trafficking charges instead of simple possession. In addition to incarceration, a drug crime conviction can also lead to fines reaching into the thousands of dollars as well as a criminal record that may harm your reputation and future prospects.
Five Drug Schedules of Controlled Substances
Drugs are classified under state and federal law according to their tendency to lead to abuse, their medicinal value (if any), and their perceived danger to those who take them. According to the New York State Controlled Substances Act, there are five schedules of controlled substances. The most dangerous are classified as Schedule I substances, with Schedule V drugs being the least serious. The most severe penalties will apply to Schedule I drugs, such as heroin, peyote, and ecstasy.
Drug Crimes Charged as Felonies
Possession with the intent to distribute, distribution, manufacturing and trafficking are serious drug crimes that are often charged as felonies, and under New York drug laws, a defendant may face a mandatory prison sentence and heavy fines. First time, non-violent offenders may qualify for alternative sentencing in the form of treatment or rehabilitation in lieu of jail time.
Felony drug crimes fall under the following classifications:
- Class A-I felony: Includes operating as a major trafficker, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree.
- Class A-II felony: Includes criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree
- Class B felony: Includes criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree
- Class C felony: Includes criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance and criminal possession or sale of marijuana in the first degree
- Class D felony: Includes criminal possession or sale of marijuana in the second degree, criminal possession or sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree
- Class E felony: Includes criminal possession or sale of marijuana in the third degree, criminal injection of a narcotic drug, and criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances
The Attorneys at Passalacqua & Associates, LLC are trained in the latest courtroom and trial presentation technologies and are ready to put those skills to work for you! Don’t wait to get the representation you deserve. Call 315-500-6425 today!