New York poses harsh punishments for drug crimes and drug trafficking. Drug charges are complicated and require a seasoned legal advocate to effectively defend you against the worst of your penalties. Depending on the circumstance of your case, a criminal attorney may even be able to create a defense that avoids conviction altogether.
When you’re facing charges for drug possession and trafficking, you want an attorney with years of experience handling cases like yours. They know the strongest defenses for your situation and how to avoid pitfalls that less experienced attorneys may fall victim to. You also need to work with a drug crime defense lawyer who can adapt their experience to fit your unique needs and charges. At The Vitaliano Law Firm, our prosecutorial experience means we know how your prosecutor will operate, and we use that to your defense’s advantage.
There are several classes and degrees of drug trafficking laws, and they may be considered felonies or misdemeanors depending on the drug and the value or amount of that drug. To convict you of criminal sale or distribution of a controlled substance, it must be proven that you unlawfully and knowingly sold the controlled substance. Common controlled substances that result in trafficking offenses include:
The circumstances surrounding your arrest will change your charges. Your charges will depend on who was being sold to, the environment, and your conduct.
The penalties for a drug trafficking conviction can affect not only your social reputation but your finances, life, and future. You could face fines, jail time, and incarceration, and you may be unable to get a job in the future. There are some circumstances where you will be charged in both federal and state courts for drug trafficking. Federal charges carry even higher penalties.
Your greatest chance at avoiding conviction or lessening the severity of your punishment is a criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will be able to discuss your case and figure out a comprehensive legal defense. They can also let you know what legal options are available to you.
The penalties for drug trafficking increase if there are large amounts of the drug, if minors are being sold to, and if it is a highly controlled class of drug. Drug trafficking charges range from fifth-degree charges, which are the least serious, to first-degree, which bring the most severe punishments. Most drug sale charges are felonies, except for the fifth- or fourth-degree sale of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor.
While possession of some drugs is a misdemeanor, all other trafficking or sale charges are felonies. Possession of a controlled substance can be charged as trafficking if you have a significant amount of the substance, even if you had no intention to sell it.
If you are a first-time offender charged with fifth-degree drug trafficking, you may face up to two and a half years of incarceration. If you are charged with first-degree drug trafficking, you may face:
Major drug trafficking means the selling, transportation, or importation of controlled substances with a total value of $75,000 or more.
You may also face fines for varying severities of drug trafficking. These range from a minimum of $5,000 or twice the amount of the drug sale to as much as $100,000. Larger fines are for first-degree felonies or being charged as a major drug trafficker. Even a minimum charge can cause you financial hardship.
An additional complication in drug trafficking charges is conspiracy charges. If multiple people were involved in the drug trafficking, you all may be charged with conspiracy, which may increase all penalties.
The sooner you begin to work with a drug defense attorney, the more time they have to begin your defense strategy. An attorney can help you avoid incarceration, fines, losing employment opportunities, and many other negative consequences of a conviction.
A: Depending on the value, amount, and type of drugs being trafficked, a person could face a varying charge for drug trafficking. Trafficking controlled substances other than marijuana is a felony. The minimum sentence for a felony that is a low-severity first-time offense in Staten Island, New York is anywhere from eight to 20 years in prison. Additional offenses or higher-class drugs result in more severe incarceration and greater fines.
A: Common defenses for drug trafficking charges include:
A: Drug crime and drug trafficking attorneys work to create a defense that limits or dismisses the penalties a person faces. They use their experience to determine the ideal legal path forward with your interests, rights, freedom, and future in mind.
A: It’s essential to consider an attorney’s experience, their success in past cases, their experience in your specific area of drug defense law, their resources, and their communication level. You should always feel comfortable with your criminal defense attorney and feel that they are listening to you, respecting you, and working for the most ideal outcome for you.
Drug crimes and drug trafficking charges can have serious effects on your present and future. Contact The Vitaliano Law Firm today for personalized and robust defense for your case.