The drug laws in New York are notoriously harsh, especially when it comes to drug sales. New York prosecutors are well known for zealously prosecuting those charged with drug sales. Many defendants who face charges for drug sales also face drug possession charges. Even defendants caught selling a small amount of drugs can face devastating penalties, if convicted.
If you are facing criminal charges for drug sales, you need an experienced drug crime defense lawyer. The drug sales defense lawyers at CDH Law PLLC understand the seriousness of drug sales charges. Contact our Syracuse law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can advocate for your rights.
Drug Sales Laws in New York
Several New York laws involve cracking down on drug sales in New York. Specifically, New York Penal Law sections 220.31, 220.34, 220.39, 220.41, 220.43, and 220.44 address the sale of drugs in New York. The severity of penalties associated with drug sales in New York depends on the schedule of the drug involved.
Drugs Commonly Involved in Drug Sales Crimes
New York defines which drugs or controlled substances are illegal through Section 3305 of the New York Public Health Law. This law divides all unlawful controlled substances into five different categories or schedules. Schedule 1 drugs have the highest likelihood of causing addiction or drug abuse.
Schedule V drugs may cause addiction or abuse, but they also have some value for medicinal purposes. Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, diampromide, methylfentanyl, and mephedrone. On the contrary, Schedule V drugs include pregabalin, ezogabine, pyrovalerone, and lacosamide. Marijuana drug sale crimes included in a different law. Drug sales crimes often include selling the following controlled substances:
- Hashish (and hashish oil)
- Cannabis (marijuana)
- Crack cocaine
- Crystal meth
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
- Prescription painkillers without a prescription
- Prescription stimulants without a prescription
Drug Possession for Sale in New York
Possessing or buying illegal drugs with the intent to sell drugs is a crime in New York. New York prosecutors don’t have to prove that the defendant sold the drugs in question. Instead, the prosecution only needs to prove that the defendant intended to sell them.
For example, a court can convict a defendant for drug possession for sale even if no money changed hands, and no drug deal took place. Prosecutors attempt to prove a defendant’s intent to sell by presenting the following types of evidence:
- Drug packaging such as small bundles
- Weighing scales
- Cutting agents
- Visitors coming to and leaving home at all hours
- Evidence from police informants
- Undercover law enforcement officers
- Fortified windows
- Wiretapped telephone conversations
The sooner you speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the better. At CDH Law PLLC, we can help you develop a winning legal defense strategy. In many cases, prosecutors do not have sufficient evidence to prove drug possession for sale charges.
Marijuana Drug Sales Crimes
Marijuana is considered an illegal substance in New York. Defendants who possess marijuana face serious consequences. Those convicted of the cultivation and sale of marijuana face fines between $500 and $5000. They also face a prison sentence between 3 months and 15 years.
In many cases, defendants charged with the cultivation and sale of marijuana also face charges for possession of marijuana paraphernalia, leading to enhanced penalties. Other factors can also increase the penalties for marijuana drug sales. For example, when a defendant sells marijuana to a minor under the age of 18, he or she will face a $5,000 fine as well as a seven-year jail sentence. The amount of marijuana involved in the crime will also affect the sentencing, should the court convict the defendant.
Drug Trafficking Charges
Drug trafficking is an even more serious charge than unlawful sale and possession of drugs. In New York, drug trafficking is distinct from drug dealing. Under New York law, drug trafficking includes manufacturing, transporting, distributing, or selling illegal drugs. When the amount of drugs involved in drug sales consists of an amount of drugs that exceed a certain amount, the defendant will face drug trafficking charges instead of drug possession charges.
Operating as a drug trafficker is a serious A-1 felony in New York. Acting as a drug trafficker involves selling a prescription or controlled substance as part of a more extensive operation. Selling someone a narcotic drug on one or more occasions in six months or less with a total value of $75,000 or more constitutes drug trafficking. The penalties for drug trafficking are extremely serious and can include decades of prison time as well as extensive fines.
Unlawful Sale and Possession of Prescription Drugs
More people than ever are abusing prescription drugs. As a result, prosecution for prescription drug sales has increased. If you are facing prosecution for any prescription drug felony in new york, you face severe penalties. Depending on the class of prescription drugs, defendants face between 1 and 9 years in prison.
Even defendants facing first-time charges for unlawful sale and possession of prescription drugs face a presumptive prison sentence of at least one year. Other circumstances can increase the penalties as well. For example, if the defendant sold prescription drugs on school grounds, the charge will increase from a class D felony to a class C felony. Penalties for prescription drug sales increase as the dangerous nature of the drug increases, as follows:
- 1st Conviction for Class “E” Prescription Drug Felony: 1 to 1.5 Years Prison
- 1st Conviction for Class “D” Prescription Drug Felony: 1 to 2.5 Years in Prison
- 1st Conviction for Class “C” Prescription Drug Felony: 1 to 5.5 Years in Prison
- 1st Conviction for Class “B” Prescription Drug Felony: 1 to 9 Years in Prison
Reach Out to Our Syracuse Drug Sales Defense Lawyers
If you’re facing a drug sales charge in Syracuse, your future is hanging in the balance. New York prosecutors are known for using overly aggressive tactics to secure convictions. The sooner you speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the better. Contact our Syracuse law firm as quickly as possible to schedule your initial consultation.