Staten Island Drug Crime Lawyer

Staten Island Drug Crime Lawyer

High-Level Narcotics Cases: Trafficking and Sales

Representing Staten Island, NY, Clients Charged With High-Level Narcotics Offenses

Have you been charged with any high-level narcotics charges in Staten Island? If you are accused of possession with intent to sell, drug trafficking, or drug manufacturing, you could face heavy fines and many years in prison. In addition, depending on whether you acted alone or in concert with others, it’s also possible to face prosecution for conspiracy charges under the RICO Act.

It’s easy to feel daunted by the potential penalties you face, and it’s essential to know and understand your rights in this situation. Every American citizen has the right to legal counsel when they are accused of criminal activity. A Staten Island drug crimes defense attorney is your best asset in this situation if you want to avoid conviction or, at the very least, minimize your sentence.

Attorney Michael Vitaliano spent years working as a New York assistant district attorney. During this time, he helped prosecute very high-level narcotics cases and worked closely with the NYPD’s Narcotics Investigations Bureau. Today, Attorney Vitaliano uses his prosecutorial experience to provide effective criminal defense representation to fellow members of his hometown community of Staten Island. If you are facing high-level narcotics charges and years in prison could follow conviction, you need an attorney with the experience and resources necessary to guide you to the best possible result in your case.

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Understanding Drug Scheduling and New York Narcotics Offenses

When it comes to drug charges in New York, the state refers to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and its scheduling system to determine the most appropriate penalties for drug-related offenses. The DEA assigns narcotics and controlled substances to different schedules based on their medical properties and potential for abuse. For example, substances considered to have little to no medical value and a high potential for abuse rank in Schedule I, while Schedule V includes many substances available with a prescription or even over the counter but which have moderate potential for abuse.

The penalties for high-level narcotics offenses are most severe when they involve Schedule I substances such as heroin, but offenses involving Schedule II drugs like cocaine and morphine can also lead to severe legal penalties. Suppose you are concerned about the potential penalties for conviction. In that case, it is also vital to consider the amount of the drug in question, the type of activity cited by the prosecution, and whether you acted in coordination with other individuals.

Potential Penalties for High-Level Narcotics Offense Conviction

There is a significant difference in sentencing for low-level drug crimes such as simple possession of a small quantity of a controlled substance and a high-level drug offense such as drug trafficking massive quantities of Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances. It’s possible to face several years or even life in prison, fines up to $100,000 or more, and years of supervision post-release.

Penalties for narcotics-related offenses escalate dramatically when a defendant is involved in a conspiracy or if they commit any violent offenses during their drug-related illegal activities. It is also possible for the RICO Act to come into play when a defendant worked with others in an illegal narcotics operation, potentially leading to each member of the group facing criminal prosecutions for all felonies committed by each individual.

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What You Can Expect From Your Staten Island Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

High-level narcotics cases can entail severe penalties for the defendant if the prosecution can successfully establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are facing this situation, you need a Staten Island drug crimes defense attorney who has the experience necessary to navigate the finer details of your case and explore every possible avenue of defense available to you.

Attorney Michael Vitaliano can leverage his years of experience as a New York prosecutor in defending your case. While working with the NYPD’s Narcotics Investigation Bureau and as an assistant district attorney, Mr. Vitaliano assisted in many high-level narcotics cases and understands how Staten Island prosecutors approach these cases. Some of the most commonly cited defenses in drug crime cases include:

  • Mistaken identity or lack of ownership. A person can be arrested without realizing they are technically in possession of someone else’s drugs. For example, if a driver is arrested for a traffic violation and during a search of their vehicle the police find several pounds of cocaine that belong to the driver’s roommate, the driver would not be liable for the drug charges if they can successfully prove the drugs did not belong to them.
  • Lack of material evidence. To succeed with prosecution for narcotics offenses, the prosecution must credibly prove that the substance in question is indeed a controlled substance that is illegal for the defendant to possess.
  • Due process violations. The defendant may also defeat the charges against them by proving the police violated the due process laws or unethically engaged in entrapment to secure an arrest and conviction.

No matter what your narcotics case entails, it is essential to explore every detail that may work in your favor and help you avoid conviction. If you made a mistake, your defense attorney can still help you through the plea-bargaining process and potentially help you secure a lighter sentence depending on your unique circumstances.

Attorney Michael Vitaliano is ready to put his years of experience as a prosecutor to work in your criminal defense case. Hiring the right attorney has a dramatic influence on the outcome of your case. Unfortunately, while a public defender may be available free of charge, these court-appointed defense attorneys can typically provide little in the way of individual attention to their clients due to the demanding nature of their work.

When you choose Attorney Vitaliano as your Staten Island drug crimes defense attorney, our team will thoroughly review the circumstances of your arrest to ensure the police followed due process laws, help you uncover mitigating evidence that may work in your favor, and help you secure a lighter sentence, or help you establish exculpatory evidence that proves your innocence. If you are ready to discuss your options for defense with an experienced Staten Island drug crimes lawyer, contact Attorney Michael Vitaliano today and schedule a consultation with our team.