Because the state of New York is historically strict on drug crimes, a conviction can ultimately lead to hefty consequences, such as the loss of your license or even prison time. Whether you were accused of possessing, dealing, or trafficking an illegal substance, you need to retain a Manhattan drug crime lawyer before you go to trial. This way, you can fight the allegations against you with powerful legal strategies that demonstrate your innocence.
At Greco Neyland, PC, each of our attorneys has spent countless hours practicing criminal defense. Our firm recognizes that there may be stereotypes and stigmas surrounding drug accusations, which is why we always aim to provide unbiased legal representation that is as effective as possible. With decades of legal experience shared between them, our lawyers combine their strengths to provide superior drug crime representation for Manhattan residents.
Drug crimes are offenses that involve the illegal possession, sale, or use of controlled substances. These types of crimes drastically vary in severity, which causes their penalties to do so as well. Most serious drug crimes are federal crimes, leading many of them to be classified as felonies. However, a variety of cases are charged at the state level, and some possession charges even qualify as misdemeanors.
When dealing with drug crimes, you’ll most likely hear the terms “illegal drugs” and “controlled substances.” While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are some differences between them. Technically speaking, a controlled substance is a drug that has the potential to be abused or has addictive properties. Many controlled substances include medications that can be legally prescribed but used illegally.
Illegal drugs, however, are substances that are illegally manufactured and sold. These drugs were never legal and pose a high threat to anyone who uses them. While all illegal drugs are controlled substances, not all controlled substances are illegal drugs. The biggest difference between illegal drugs and controlled substances is that most illegal drugs have no medicinal value and are not legal to any extent, whereas some controlled substances are.
For example, if you are prescribed Xanax by your doctor in New York, you will not be arrested for simply having your prescription on you because it is a legal controlled substance. However, if you are found with large quantities of Xanax, have no prescription, and seemingly may be abusing or selling it, this is an illegal use of a controlled substance.
Drug crimes are generally separated into three main categories. These categories either involve the possession, sale, or manufacturing of controlled substances. The following are the most common drug crimes that our defense lawyers see here in Manhattan:
Criminal possession charges occur when individuals are found with illegal drugs, illegally obtained controlled substances, or unlawful amounts of controlled substances. If you are arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance, your charge will be categorized by one of six different degrees. The type of substance you have on you, the amount of it, and whether there was an intent to sell it will all impact the severity of your charge.
The degree of your possession charge dictates your penalties, with a first-degree possession charge being the most severe and a seventh-degree charge being the mildest. A seventh-degree offense is the only possession charge that is a misdemeanor in New York. All other criminal possession charges are classified as felonies, which is why working with a Manhattan drug possession lawyer is fundamental. The consequences of a possession charge can range from fines to prison time.
Paraphernalia charges tend to be less severe than possession charges when an individual doesn’t have the actual controlled substance on them. However, the type of paraphernalia you have and the type of substance it is used for can impact how severe your charge becomes. For example, someone found with a piece of paraphernalia for personal use may not have consequences as serious as someone found with paraphernalia that is used to manufacture illegal drugs.
Unless you are a pharmacy or licensed cannabis dispensary, it is illegal to sell controlled substances in New York. Because the state’s legislation was built to be harsh on drug crimes, anyone found selling or attempting to sell a controlled substance may immediately face felony charges. It’s also important to note that even though cannabis is now legal in New York, this does not give unlicensed individuals the right to sell it, especially in large amounts.
Many people confuse drug trafficking with basic dealing or selling charges. However, drug trafficking is considered to be a more large-scale violation and may deal with the manufacturing and distribution of large amounts of drugs. Drug trafficking charges are felonies in New York and can result in long-term prison sentences if you’re found guilty. If you were accused of drug trafficking in Manhattan, consult our defense lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your options.
When you’re facing allegations as intimidating as drug crime charges, retaining an attorney should be the first thing you do after your arrest. Drug crime attorneys have unique insight into both state and federal drug laws, allowing them to protect your interests and build a defense that properly represents your side of the story. Without a skilled defense attorney representing your rights, it can be easy for the prosecution to overrun the case with wild accusations.
Greco Neyland, PC, is a firm full of exceptional criminal defense attorneys, all of whom are devoted to providing impartial legal support. We understand that biases and stereotypes may exist around your charge, which is why we combine our strengths to ensure that you receive the strongest defense possible. By retaining one of our drug crime attorneys, you can trust that your case will be handled by a professional who’s dedicated to your needs. We may be able to help you by:
A: There are multiple elements that will impact whether you are charged at the state or federal level for a drug crime. Generally, more serious crimes, such as trafficking and selling drugs, are considered to be federal offenses, whereas possession is commonly handled at the state level. The type of drug that you were handling, what you were doing with it, and how severe your offense is can all dictate whether your charge is a federal offense.
A: Because many possession cases are mild offenses, you may be able to have your charge expunged after you were convicted. To do this, you’ll have to meet a variety of requirements, such as attending mandatory treatment and having no other arrests. If your charge was for marijuana possession, changing laws now allow you to have that charge expunged, along with a variety of other cannabis-related convictions.
A: With most criminal cases, an individual has the right to appeal their verdict if they can identify certain legal grounds. These legal grounds must demonstrate that your case needs to be reviewed, whether it was because a judge was too harsh or because a procedural error occurred. If you’re unsure whether you are able to appeal your drug crime conviction, ask your lawyer what steps you can take as soon as possible.
A: Now that cannabis is legal for recreational use in New York, any adult over the age of 21 years old is legally allowed to carry up to three ounces of flower or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis. However, if you’re found with excessive amounts of cannabis that demonstrate an intent to sell, you can still face criminal charges. If you’re a cannabis user in Manhattan, make sure that you educate yourself on the state’s new laws before partaking.
By having a team of multiple skilled defense attorneys, our firm sets itself apart from competitors by offering exceptional, extensive, and effective representation in New York. Decades of shared experience allow us to defend a wide range of clients in troubling situations, like drug crime cases. While being arrested for a drug crime may be daunting, you can fight the charges against you with the right lawyer.
Contact Greco Neyland, PC, for legal assistance during a Manhattan drug crime case today.