Drug and Narcotics Crimes
It's a common enough story: you were out with your friends enjoying a night in New York City, but instead of a happy evening of dancing and socializing, you ended up getting searched by a police officer and arrested after the police found a small amount of cocaine or ecstasy (MDMA) in your pocket. Alternatively, the police stopped your car and a search revealed heroin or oxycodone and you were issues a Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.). Regardless of where you were in New York City - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx - you were handcuffed, processed and now face very real criminal drug and controlled substance charges.
As long as there is even the slightest trace or residue of a controlled substance, you will be charged with a crime and need the assistance of a New York City criminal lawyer. Whether the police arrested you on the spot and put you through the system or gave you a Desk Appearance Ticket (D.A.T.) is relatively irrelevant to the consequences you now face. In either event, you have been charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (New York Penal Law 220.03), a class "A" misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Whether it is one day or one year, any time spent on Rikers Island in New York City is a moment too long.
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- The Charges
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Although NY PL 220.03 is the most common misdemeanor arrest and Desk Appearance Ticket offense in New York City, there are other narcotic, controlled substance and drug crimes that you could face. Because a D.A.T. merely charges one particular offense, consult with your New York City defense attorney to determine the likelihood that you will face additional crimes such as:
- New York Penal Law 220.50 - Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree - An "A" misdemeanor for possessing glassines, vials, capsules and scales common to the drug trade.
- New York Penal Law 220.06 - Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree - A "D" felony punishable by up to two and one half years in prison for possessing in excess of 500 milligrams or 1000 milligrams of cocaine or ketamine ("Special K") respectively.
- New York Penal Law 221.10 and 221.05- Criminal and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana - These are distinct offenses from other drug crimes.
Beyond the basic crimes you may face in New York for possessing drugs (there are many more significant offenses not listed above), it is important to be familiar with the types of substances that form the basis of a Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance charge. Don't merely rely on consulting with a New York drug lawyer after you have already been arrested for personal possession. These narcotics and drugs include:
- Cocaine and crack cocaine
A conviction for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree will unquestionably have a severe impact on your future. It will show up on any background check and if you are ever asked on an application whether you have been convicted of a crime, the answer must be in the affirmative. Obviously, this will impact your ability to attain or keep a desired job.
If you are charged with possessing drugs for personal use or for distribution, your best move is to retain the services of a skilled New York criminal defense attorney with experience defending these types of cases in the New York City area. If you are a doctor, lawyer, teacher, work in finance or any other professional, you can afford nothing less. Certainly, the last thing you want to do is compromise your future by compounding the situation you now find yourself in.
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Our law firm serves clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Westchester County. Call us at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today to speak with our New York attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors about misdemeanor drug crimes.
In depth information on drug crimes, statutes and laws is located on Saland Law's New York Criminal Lawyer Blog and its drug crime section.