Syracuse Drug Crimes Lawyer

Spilled pill bottle with blurred pill bottles in the background

New York drug laws have a well-earned reputation for being among the toughest in the country. If you have been charged with a drug or controlled substance crime in New York, don’t waste time worrying — get yourself an accomplished drug crimes attorney immediately. Whether you have been arrested for possession, sale, or trafficking, a conviction for a drug crime can negatively impact your life in terms of your education or employment options, relationships, custody arrangements, civil rights, and physical freedom. Be proactive by getting first-rate legal representation from our criminal defense attorney.

If you are in Syracuse, any part of Onondaga County or the surrounding Central New York area, you have the advantage of easy accessibility to one of the finest drug crimes law firms in the state: Carden Dotzler Hammond. In addition to being experienced in defending individuals arrested on drug charges, we are highly competent negotiators as well as litigators. Our attorneys are responsive to your particular needs and sympathetic to your plight. Aware of how frightening it is to be arrested for a serious crime, we will fight energetically to have your charges dismissed or reduced.


Defining Drug Crimes

Besides the typical substances classified as drugs, like heroin and cocaine, New York State law includes the compounds used to manufacture them in the same category. Also, the morass of New York’s drug laws is confusing at best. Trying to dissect and understand the myriad offenses and how each is defined is clearly a job for a professional. Making drug defense a do-it-yourself  project is foolhardy and dangerous. Call CDH Law instead.

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA)

The Controlled Substances Act is a federal statute under which the manufacture and distribution of controlled substances such as hallucinogens, narcotics, depressants, and stimulants is regulated. The CSA gives the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) the power to monitor the uses of legal as well as illegal substances

Categories of Controlled Substances Under New York State Law

Under New York State law there are five degrees, or schedules, according to which controlled substances are categorized, the fifth being the least serious. Criteria used to determine how drugs should be classified are:

  • Potential for abuse
  • Scientific information describing the drug’s pharmacological effect
  • Scientific explanation of how the drug works
  • Historical and current patterns of abuse
  • Risk level to public health
  • Risk of dependence of addiction

Below is the rating schedule for some common drugs and medications:

Schedule I: heroin, LSD, marijuana, Ecstasy, and fetanyl
Schedule II: Ritalin, Adderall, oxycodone, methadone, cocaine and methamphetamine
Schedule III: anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine, products with small amounts of codeine or hydrocodone per dosage
Schedule IV: Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Soma and Ativan
Schedule V: cough medications containing small amounts of codeine, also Lyrica, Motofen and Lomotil

The Wide Range of Drug Crimes in New York State

While New York laws regarding possession of marijuana are rapidly changing, other laws pertaining to drugs remain strict. Currently, unless you are deemed to possess enough marijuana to be categorized as a seller, conviction for possession will only result in a fine. Other drug crime convictions, however, carry much heavier penalties which is why it is essential to approach CDH Law early on.

In New York State you may be charged with many drug-related crimes, including:

  • Drug possession
  • Sale of a controlled substance
  • Drug trafficking:  cultivating, producing, transporting, distributing for sale
  • Narcotics charges: possession of drugs rated most hazardous, even in small amounts

Penalties for drug crimes vary depending on the type of drug, the amount possessed, the range of distribution, and your criminal history. Depending on the particular circumstances of your case, you may be fined from $100 to $100,000 in penalties and may have to serve anywhere from 15 days to 20 years in prison (or even more if you’ve been convicted of a felony in the past). No matter how serious or minor your offense, it is essential that you have an aggressive drug crimes attorney to support you and to protect your rights, your reputation, your financial stability, and your freedom.

Important Facts About Conviction

In order to convict someone of sale, the prosecution must prove that the defendant unlawfully sold the product with knowledge that it was a controlled substance, and with specific intent and present ability to actually transfer the substance to the buyer. Importantly, the defendant need not be in physical possession of the controlled substance at the time of arrest, nor have delivered the product to a buyer in order to be convicted, as long as intent and ability is proveable. It should be noted that sharing prescription drugs, even without any money changing hands, is also illegal.

Also, if you possess more than a certain amount of a drug or controlled substance, law enforcement can charge you with “intent to sell” whether you had such intention or not. There are federal as well as state laws that may affect the outcome of your case, including mandatory minimums for certain drug offenses, like drug trafficking, drug dealing near a school, or intentionally selling drugs to a person under the age of 21 or to a pregnant woman. Drug dealing while possessing or using a gun can also trigger state or federal mandatory minimum laws.

Contact Our Syracuse Drug Crime Attorney

At CDH Law, we are well aware of how devastating a conviction for a drug offense can be. We will work vigorously to defend you from even the most strenuous prosecution. Having a fine track record of success in this field, we have tried and true methods of defense. These include arguing that you had a lack of knowledge that you had a drug in your possession, a lack of intent to distribute that drug, or possession of the discovered drug only for personal use. If you are under the age of 16, we can argue “infancy,” a legal term meaning the accused is not criminally liable because he or she has not reached the age of criminal responsibility.

Above all, our drug crime attorneys are creative thinkers and agile negotiators who often have the capacity to come up with innovative solutions to your legal problems. Beyond our professional prowess, we are caring people who want what’s best for you. We always work under the assumption that you are innocent until proven guilty. Nothing would make us happier than extricating you from your legal difficulties and having you become one of our satisfied clients. We can be reached through a contact form on our website, by email or by phone.

Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC represents clients in Syracuse and in the following towns and villages of Onondaga County: Camillus, Cicero, Clay, Dewitt, Elbridge, Geddes, Manlius, Marcellus, Onondaga, Salina, Skaneateles, Baldwinsville, East Syracuse, Fayetteville, Liverpool, North Syracuse, and Solvay

Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.