Types of Drug Crimes in New York

New York is tough on all types of crime, but law enforcement is particularly aggressive in apprehending those who violate state drug laws. According to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, police arrest around 73,150 people every year for controlled substances charges. Officers are also cracking down on suspects in Monroe County, where up to 600 individuals face felonies and almost 750 suspects are arrested for misdemeanor drug offenses.

However, it is important to remember that an arrest does not equal a conviction. You have many opportunities to present defenses and pursue other strategies along the path of the criminal process. While it is important to rely on a Rochester, NY criminal defense attorney if you were arrested for violating New York drug laws, an overview of the different types of crimes is helpful.

Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance

To obtain a conviction, a prosecutor must prove that you had possession of a substance you knew was illegal. Possession can be actual, if the drugs were on your person. The government could also pursue charges based upon constructive possession if the drugs were in a place where you had control over them. This is a subjective standard, so there may be a defense based upon constructive possession.

Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance

If you sell, exchange, give, or dispose of controlled substances, you could be arrested for this offense. Familiarly known as drug trafficking, there are five degrees within this category of drug crimes. Generally, the charges are more severe for higher amounts of controlled substances that are addictive and dangerous. At minimum, the offense is a Class D Felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine

The offense known as “cooking meth” can lead to serious penalties, but the prosecution has a difficult burden to obtain a conviction. The government must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you possessed certain items with intent to use them to prepare methamphetamine. Therefore, you could attack the prosecutor’s case on the grounds that:

  • You were not in possession of the items because they were not on your person or within your control.
  • You did not intend to produce meth, and the items were for other household or consumer use.

At minimum, manufacturing meth is a Class D Felony. For subsequent convictions, the charges and penalties increase significantly. You could face a Class B Felony, which could mean up to 25 years in prison.

Discuss Drug Charges with a Rochester, NY Criminal Defense Lawyer

Things might seem grim if you were arrested for violating drug crimes laws, but this overview should show that there are options for resolving the charges. The key to obtaining a favorable outcome is retaining a New York criminal defense attorney who will take advantage of all potential opportunities. For more information on how our team can help, please contact King Law. You can set up a consultation by calling (585) 270-8882 or visiting us online. We can provide additional details after learning more about your case.


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