NEW YORK (NY) STATE FELONY DRUG CHARGES, SENTENCING AND “DRUG COURT”
CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS
People are impacted by drugs all the time, as you see yourself, the news headlines cover and include arrests of high level professionals, professional athletes, government officials, celebrities and people from our local community, all related to drugs and always make you look as bad as possible.
Drug charges and convictions can have harsh effects on your life. When it starts to effect your family, social and professional life, it can really turn things upside down. In some professions, a drug conviction can fully disqualify you from your own professional licensing. Now that’s a big impact. A drug conviction can interfere with everything from getting a job, a college loans, federal housing or food assistance, grants, scholarships, access to government training programs, or even subsidized housing for seniors – even if the conviction was years ago. In some cases, a conviction is not required; a drug charge alone can prevent access to various benefits and programs.
Only you can determine which attorney is best for your specific situation, the more targeted an attorney is, the better. While changing attorneys is an option, it is not always the best idea and can end up costing you more. We suggest that you understand that your goal is to do this the correct way the first time and one shot is all you’ll get sometimes. Hire a qualified attorney from the start and chances are you won’t be disappointed.
New York State drug laws are complicated and hard to understand sometimes and often involve more than one charges. Attempting to fight NY State Drug charges with an attorney with little to no experience in criminal law, and specifically drug charges, could end with you not getting the result you want and ultimately costing you more trying to take a shortcut.
In conclusion, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can make the biggest difference when going in for a drug charges case. Some cases will be dropped, some might be plead to a lesser charge, and some will go to trial. It really varies on each individual, but, it is important to remember that the success of a District Attorney is often measured by how successfully they prosecute cases. The only person in the process you can trust is your attorney, so pick very carefully.
Never take a drug charge lightly and get your Criminal Defense Lawyer involved as quickly as possible.
It’s your job to take this case head on very aggressively as well. The criminal defense attorneys at Courthouse Pitbulls are highly experienced in defending drug cases and are like pitbulls towards getting you what you want. Whether a first offense, or one of multiple charges, a drug charge requires due diligence, an aggressive defense and mastery of appropriate timing in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
Our attorneys will invest all the time necessary to put together a strong defense for you and your future, with a continual commitment to seek reduced or dismissed charges.
MISDEMEANOR AND FELONY DRUG CHARGES IN NEW YORK
In New York State drug charges are taken very seriously. Drug charges include misdemeanor and felony charges for drug possession, distribution, trafficking of street drugs such as marijuana, heroin, crack and cocaine, as well as prescription drugs. Driving while ability impaired by drugs (DWAI drugs) is a separate charge, and which has it’s own penalties, fines and jail sentencing guidelines, especially when charged in co-occurrence with your other drug charges.
A misdemeanor drug charge may seem harmless, but should never be taken lightly. Even though a misdemeanor drug charge is often reduced or dismissed with the help of a good criminal defense attorney, a conviction does create an existing offense which could later affect the outcome of your other future charges. A strong defense attorney will have your back and do whatever he/she needs to in order to fight on your behalf and get your your optimal result. Let us handle the hard parts.
WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS OF A FELONY DRUG CONVICTION?
You can no longer vote (called “Felony Disenfranchisement”)
You cannot be a juror
You cannot not purchase/own firearms
No more eligibility for welfare benefits
No more eligibility for Federally subsidized housing, and additional programs
Prohibited from securing or keeping various operator and/or professional licenses
Learn more about felony charges and penalties in NY State
SENTENCING FOR A FELONY DRUG CONVICTION IN NEW YORK
Even a small amount of a controlled substance can result in a conviction and mandatory drug sentence in NY State. Why? Because there is an understanding that there is usually another underlying addiction in a lot of drug cases, which New York has made drug treatment options available in an attempt to rehabilitate those who are convicted of a felony who are determined to have a drug addiction.
NY State Felony Charge and Conviction reference chart
NY State Felony Drug Sentencing Guidelines 2013 (PDF)
DRUG COURT IN NEW YORK STATE
NY offers CASAT (“Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment”), also known as ‘Drug Court’ as an alternative to jail and prison when applicable. (Please refer to the Felony Drug Sentencing Chart above).
These programs require the defendant to voluntarily enter into a court-supervised substance abuse rehabilitation program. Only non-violent addicted offenders are eligible to enter the Drug Court intervention program and strict compliance is required to meet requirements to successfully “graduate” from a Drug Court program.
Inclusion in a Drug Court program is usually at the sole discretion of a judge, often as a result of an evaluation by health services and the recommendation of the prosecutor. Rules for participation in Drug Court are defined in a contract which is then agreed upon by the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, the district attorney, treatment coordinator and the court. Successful completion can ultimately erase the drug charge and provide the defendant a clean slate. Failure to follow the rules, including periodic drug testing, can cause a removal from the program, reinstatement of original charges, additional jail time and/or probation.
Shock Incarceration resembles boot camp and can be offered as an accelerated alternative to mandatory minimums for convicted drug felonies. The program is extremely strict. Those who graduate Shock Incarceration are eligible to be released with time served upon completion, often reducing jail or prison time substantially.
The Drug Felony Sentencing Chart (above) demonstrates when Shock Incarceration is a viable option. The decision to offer Shock lies in the hands of the judge, and must be agreed upon by law enforcement, DA/Prosecutor, treatment coordinator, defendant and the defendant’s defense attorney.
When eligible, our criminal defense lawyers make the case that the individual is a worthy candidate for Drug Court or Shock Incarceration program and advocate for the defendant every step of the way.
GET A FREE CONSULTATION NOW FOR YOUR DRUG CASE
Our criminal defense attorneys are aware and attentive to the impact of addiction and how drug charges can hurt you and your relationships. We help avoid those issues.
We represent defendants in courts throughout New York. Contact Us Now to request a free case analysis or you can schedule a confidential in-person meeting with an attorney at one of our offices. No matter what your case is all about, Call us now so you don’t have to worry anymore.
Our criminal defense attorneys are always available to clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even on holidays. We are here to help.