DRUG CRIMESNow more than ever defendants need capable and experienced attorneys who can protect their constitutional rights when charged with drug related offenses. Thus, it is imperative that persons charged with a drug crime should find a capable criminal defense attorney who can prove the defendant's innocence, work out a good plea agreement or secure a downward departure from mandatory sentencing if in federal court. The Kushner Law Group understands this need and with years of experiences in both the Federal and State Courts we are here to stand up for you.
Drug Crimes in GeneralFederal and New York State Laws make it a crime to knowingly possess illegal controlled substances and are aggressive and diligent about prosecuting drug offenses that include marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and others. That is why you need to understand the laws and the criminal processes that may be affecting you or a family member charged with a drug crime. In terms of Federal drug laws versus State drug laws, generally speaking, a majority of federal drug convictions have been prosecuted for trafficking while a majority of state drug convictions were made on charges of possession. Another difference between the federal and state drug laws lies in severity in regards to the sentencing. Generally speaking and largely determinate on the circumstances of the defendants situation, federal sentencing can be harsher and longer as there is no chance of parole in federal sentencing.
PossessionPossession of a controlled substance is one of the most common charges especially in state prosecutions. The government will have to prove that:
- The substance was a controlled substance;
- The defendant possessed the substance;
- His or her possession was knowing; and
- The possession was unlawful.
ManufacturingOrdinarily cultivation is the growing, possessing, or producing of naturally occurring elements to make an illegal controlled substance (cannabis seeds or marijuana plants etc.) in addition a defendant can also be charged with the manufacture of the illegal substance through chemical processes ( LSD , cocaine, and methamphetamine etc.). Charges for the manufacture of illegal controlled substances demand stiff penalties and having an effective defense is important in order to counter the prosecution's arguments.
TraffickingAlthough the drug trafficking laws throughout the many states and the federal government differ in many respects, there is one thing they share in common and that is that the penalties are severe. In New York State the law looks at weights and measurements. If the police find a certain amount and weight of an illegal substance on the defendant, the defendant can be charged with trafficking even if the defendant did not have an intent to sell the drugs.
Trafficking DefensesMounting a legal defense to drug trafficking charges are always challenging as the government has a lot of resources to draw from. However, New York State Law allows for certain defenses which may include:
- A defense that focuses on a lack of intent that demonstrates that the defendant had no intent on trafficking illegal drugs or to break the law.
- A defense that focuses on a lack of knowledge that demonstrates the defendant had no knowledge that the illegal drugs were on them or on their property and that the drugs did not belong to them.
- A defense that focuses on possession for personal use, which demonstrates that the drugs found on the defendant, were not meant for distribution but for personal use only.
- A defense based on entrapment that demonstrates that law enforcement pushed the defendant into trafficking by the use of an operation whereby the defendant would not have committed the offense by himself or herself.
- A defense based on infancy, whereby if the defendant is under sixteen years of age he or she cannot be charged with drug trafficking in the same way as an adult.
In essence, potential drug related convictions can be serious life changing events that require an experience legal team who will help defend your rights. The Kushner Law Group is here to help you create a formidable defense against the prosecution's charges. With years of successful experience in both State and Federal courts, we're here to defend your rights.
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