New York courts take drug charges seriously. Those convicted of drug crimes often pay hefty fines and face time behind bars, as outlined by NORML.
If New York police have arrested you for a drug-related offense, then it is critical that you take steps to fight the charges. Even if you were breaking the law, there may be a defense strategy that convinces the courts to reduce the charges or the penalties.
Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law is a White Plains criminal lawyer who structure a comprehensive defense based on the unique facts of your case. Call at 914-772-8614 to schedule a consultation.
Until then, read on to learn of four factors that influence sentencing for drug crimes:
- Quantity of Drugs
If police catch you with large amounts of drugs, on either your property or person, then they will confiscate them for evidence. The more drugs that you possess, the worse your sentence will likely be.
If you tell the court that the drugs were for your own use, then the prosecuting authority may argue that it is impossible for one person to take so many drugs. In these cases, a conviction may result in stiffer penalties than a simple possession case.
- Type of Drugs
The type of drugs police catch you with will have a significant impact on your sentencing. The Controlled Substances Act categorizes drugs into different classes of severity. For example, cocaine is in Group 1, which comes with the harshest penalties. Prescription drugs often carry lighter sentences because they fall under Group 3. You may face federal penalties if police catch you with certain drugs.
- Place of Arrest
When deciding your sentence, the court will consider where police arrested you. Your sentence will be much worse if police caught you violating drug laws near public parks, schools or daycare centers, for example.
Selling drugs to vulnerable members of society, such as children, is a serious offense. However, if the drugs were at your house, then the court may reduce your sentence because you were not endangering anybody else.
- Reason for Possessing the Drugs
New York courts will try to identify why you had drugs on your person and what your intention was with them. If you were carrying drugs for your own use, then your sentence is unlikely to be as severe as it would be for selling them. Consuming narcotics at home, for example, carries a lighter sentence than the harsher penalties for selling drugs or manufacturing them.
Regardless of which drug charge you face, you should take every step to protect your interests. Without a structured defense, even minor charges can have severe consequences.
A criminal attorney can evaluate your case and develop a comprehensive strategy to fight the charges. Call Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law at 914-772-8614 today to get started.