FAQs about drug Crimes
If you were arrested in New York City, you will arraigned within approximately 24 hours of your arrest. You should try to retain an attorney by then. The arraignment is primarily to advise you of your rights and enter a plea of not guilty.
At your arraignment, if you have no prior warrant record, and strong ties to the community you may be released without bail.If you are charged with a felony or are otherwise considered a flight risk, the court may require bail.
It is advisable to not resolve a case at arraignment because you may not be fully aware of the impacts of a guilty plea until you have spoken at length with an attorney.
The drug penalties in NY state are severe and even possession of small quantities can be punished by jail time. In practice though, few drug charges ever receive the maximum penalties. With proper legal representation most first time arrests for small quantities can usually be resolved without a criminal record. Larger quantities, sellers and repeat offenders risk a realistic possibility of a being sentenced to a jail term if convicted. Individuals with drug additions can sometimes be diverted into a treatment program to avoid a felony.
You need a skilled attorney with experience defending against New York drug charges to evaluate your particular case, and explain your options.
There are many ways to fight a drug case. For example, many times police recover drugs in a questionable manner. If an officer stopped you without reasonable suspicion, or discovered the drugs only after an arrest without probable case, the drug evidence in your case may be suppressed. Drug cases also often involve wiretaps and informers, both of which be effectively challenged by an experienced attorney.
Each case has its own strengths and weaknesses, but there is almost always a way to fight. The Law Offices of Adam Perlmutter has a demonstrated history of picking apart weaknesses in the government’s case, and putting you in the best position possible.
Prosecutors charge drug conspiracies based upon the weight of drugs dealt by the entire conspiracy. That means that you are responsible for not only the drugs that you dealt, but also the drugs that everyone you are alleged to be involved with dealt. The legal standard is whether it was “reasonably foreseeable” to you that the amount charged was being dealt by members of your conspiracy. In other words, you can be charged with what you should have known was being dealt by others.
Prosecutors will try to attach you to as much drug weight as possible. You need a lawyer that will fight back and stop them from inflating your level of involvement.
Yes! While marijuana usage is rarely prosecuted to the full extent of the law New York, it is still illegal within the state.
Smoking marijuana in private is only punishable by a $100 fine, but additional arrests carry harsher penalties. Smoking in public, however, is a B misdemeanor and can be punished by up to six months in jail.
Most first time offenders are offered a Marijuana Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (MACD), which essentially dismisses the charges if are not arrested again within one year.
Sorry but no, marijuana is still illegal in New York. Licenses or prescriptions from other states are not valid in New York.
Both NY and federal drug laws determine amounts based on the total “preparation, mixture, compound, or substance containing” the banned substance. Figuring out what qualifies as a mixture and what doesn’t can be a difficult legal issue. The federal sentencing guidelines commentary to §2D1.1 offers some assistance:
“Mixture or substance does not include materials that must be separated from the controlled substance before the controlled substance can be used. Examples of such materials include the fiberglass in a cocaine/fiberglass bonded suitcase, beeswax in a cocaine/beeswax statue, and waste water from an illicit laboratory used to manufacture a controlled substance.”
In other instances where the delivery method cannot be separated from another substance, such as the blotter paper and LSD, both are counted towards the drug weight.
Different drug weights carry vastly different sentences, so you should consult an attorney who knows how to handle this issue. The Law Offices of Adam Perlmutter have years of experience with successfully arguing for lower drug weights than initially accused.
Crack is a freebase form of cocaine that may be smoked. Although crack is essentially the same as cocaine, it can carry far different consequences.
In NY crack and cocaine are treated the same. In the federal system, however, crack is punished far more than cocaine. For example, a first time offense of possession with the intent to distribute 280 grams of cocaine is punished by up to 20 years in jail with no mandatory minimum, but that same amount of crack carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years to maximum of life in prison.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine, but for now the sentences attached to each are radically different.