Being accused of a drug crime is never easy; however, it is important to note that in New York and other states the severity of the crime generally determines the harshness of the penalties. Because there is a wide range of drug charges an offender could be accused of, it is essential to understand the different offenses, the consequences they carry and the available defense options for them.
Both federal and state laws cover a wide range of drug charges; however, this post will discuss the major types of drug crimes an individual could find him or herself charged with as well as possible defense options available for these charges.
A common charge a person could face is a drug paraphernalia charge. This occurs when a person is in possession of any equipment used to prepare, inject, inhale or conceal illegal drugs. This often refers to bongs, pipes, rolling papers and syringes.
Another common charge is drug possession. This occurs when an individual is in possession of a controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine or heroin. A small quantity of drugs can lead to a simple possession charge, while possession of a large quantity of a controlled substance could lead to a charge of possession with intent to distribute.
An individual could face manufacturing or delivery charges is he or she is involved in any step of the production or distribution of an illegal drug. A trafficking charge occurs when an individual is involved with the transportation of a large amount of illegal drugs. Lastly, an individual could face a dealing charge if he or she sells small quantities of an illicit drug.
When facing any of these drug crimes, it is important to understand what the charge means, what evidence is required to prove the crime and what penalties could result. If an illegal search or seizure was conducted, this could be reason to suppress evidence. Understanding one’s rights could help a defendant reduce or even dismiss the charges against them.
Source: Findlaw.com, “Types of Drug Crimes,” accessed Nov. 6, 2016