No matter what legal charges you are facing, knowing your rights and what to expect is important. According to recent estimated crime statistics released by the F.B.I., there were over 1.6 million arrests for drugs in 2018 — a number that has increased every year since 2015 after declining over the previous decade. Drug charges are serious and require the help of an experienced defense attorney if you want to have a strong chance of defending your charges.
If you have been accused or charged with a drug crime in New York, my firm — the Law Offices of Douglas M. Reda — is here to help. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I will fight aggressively to protect your rights and preserve your freedom. If you live in Suffolk County, New York, or in the surrounding areas of Commack and Central Islip, my office is here to serve your needs.
Drug crimes can occur on both state or federal levels. Generally speaking, if you get arrested or charged with a drug crime it happens locally, but it can escalate to a federal offense. If, for example, you are arrested by a federal officer because you are on federal land or someone informed authorities that you were involved, this can lead to a federal drug offense. State and federal prosecutors can also make the decision to pursue the charges as a federal crime, should they deem the offense necessary.
The main difference between state and federal crimes is the severity of the punishment that comes with it. Usually, state drug crimes involve possession and lesser charges, however, a drug charge will become federal if and when state lines are crossed.
New York has varying degrees of drug charges. These charges are as follows:
Drug Manufacturing - The manufacturing of a controlled substance involves the making or cultivating of the drug. Examples of this are growing marijuana or chemically creating LSD.
Drug Delivery - The delivery of an illicit drug is illegal both on the state and federal levels.
Intent to Sell - Selling drugs, whether or not you manufactured them or used them yourself, can also be punished with jail time.
Possession - Drug possession involves having a certain amount of the substance in your possession. Possession with the intent to sell is often treated as a higher crime.
New York divides controlled dangerous substances into five different categories. Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and typically have no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in the level of danger and probability of abuse. These classes also tend to increase in the level of recognized medical use.
Examples of the various scheduled drugs are:
Schedule I: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote
Schedule II: raw opium, opium extracts, opium fluid, powdered opium
Schedule III: anabolic steroids, codeine, and hydrocodone
Schedule IV: benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan
Schedule V: drugs generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes
Drug crimes can range from a Class A misdemeanor to various felony charges. Penalties can involve prison time as low as one year for a misdemeanor and as high as 25 years for a class A felony. You can also receive a fine of up to $1,000 on the low end for a misdemeanor all the way up to $100,000 on the high end for felony drug charges.
Fines, imprisonment, probation, a criminal record that can last a lifetime — any or all of these may loom ahead If you’re convicted of a drug crime. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney to advocate for you can help you pursue a reduced sentence, or have your charges dropped altogether. For over four decades I have been defending clients charged with various drug crimes and I would be proud to offer you the personalized attention and aggressive defense that you deserve. My top priority will be to protect your rights and outline a strong defense strategy aimed at obtaining the best possible outcome for your case.
Here at my firm, the Law Offices of Douglas M. Reda, I am proud to serve clients across Suffolk County, including Commack, Central Islip, and Woodbury. So if you’ve been charged with a drug crime, don’t face this challenge on your own. Call or reach out to my office today to schedule a case consultation and put my extensive experience on your side.
At the Law Offices of Douglas M. Reda, I have experience on both sides of the criminal justice system. I began my career working with criminal prosecutors before deciding to start a firm dedicated to defending those facing criminal charges against a system they don’t fully understand. If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, call my office today for strong representation.