New York Drug Possession With Intent to Distribute Lawyer

Possession is a severe crime with dire consequences for individuals who are charged. Possession with the intent to distribute is a felony charge. The resulting penalties often result in a loss of liberties as well as having to reintegrate into society as a formerly convicted felon. 

If you face these charges, it is of the utmost importance that you get in contact with a skilled drug lawyer. A New York drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer can do the work necessary to build you a solid case and will advocate for you.

Defining Possession With Intent

Possession with the intent to sell is New York State’s version of intent to distribute. This crime, a class B felony punishable as a first offense of between one to nine years in prison, is codified in New York State Law 220.16. 

Additionally, although a lesser offense, some controlled substance crimes involving the intent to sell are also found in New York Penal Law 220.06, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree. A New York drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer will understand the severity of these charges and can provide the defendant with a solid defense.

Role of Law Enforcement

The police might check if the client had cash on them, then they might wonder how much money the defendant had on them, and what the denominations were.

There are many ways which law enforcement may prove or attempt to prove that someone had the intent to sell even if they did not see them actually selling nor arrest a buyer. While someone might have a valid defense if they have a history of drug abuse, convictions for personal possession or have syringes, an argument can certainly be made that they are a user, if the facts are favorable.

Role of Prosecution

Irrespective of the controlled substance or drug, prosecutors will look to certain factors establishing that the defendant’s intent was not for personal use but was more nefarious.

At trial, the district attorney's office will ask to have an expert testify, the expert being an officer who is familiar with the sale and use of controlled substances and narcotics. This officer will testify as an expert, explaining the process from bundling and quantities to lingo and other street terms.

How Intent to Distribute Affects Drug Possession Charges

A person can be charged with both intent to possess and to distribute. It elevates from what they have come to call simple misdemeanor possession, for personal use, to a felony possession. In the State of New York, if it is a B felony, then their potential exposure of likely no jail for a first-time offender becomes up to nine years on a felony. Again, even if the drug is not one that violates New York Penal Law 220.16, a violation of a lesser felony will still have enormously adverse impacts on their life, career, and family.

Impact on Potential Penalties

An intent to sell is the same as a sale in the eyes of the law as it relates to the degree of the crime and potential penalty.

Therefore, the fear anyone should have who is arrested for a misdemeanor for violating NY PL 220.03 is that in the event that the prosecution believes you had the intent to sell and there is indicia of such, their exposure changes from what may have been an opportunity to avoid a criminal record to sitting for up to as many as nine years in a New York State prison.

In New York, if a person is addicted to drugs, there are diversion programs or alternative sentences available for the first-time possession with intent to distribute charges.

 If a person and their attorney have no experience with alternatives to incarceration and programs that may be available, then they are compromising their ability to fight the case. An experienced New York drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer can give the defense the opportunity to get the help that they need.

Investigation of Cases

For the most part, the District Attorney's Office, and the NYPD, and the United States Attorney's Office, and federal agents are not going to spend their time and money to investigate mere possession for personal use.

Law enforcement is looking for felonious distributors. In those cases, they take the time and money to conduct undercover buy operations, develop informants, keep surveillance, draft search warrants, wiretap phones, and pursue other investigatory avenues.

 Investigations can last as little as weeks, months, or years. Those accused will not know they were the targets of an investigation until law enforcement knocks down their door, puts on the handcuffs, and drags them before the judge.

Benefits of an Attorney

It is vital that you hire a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and statutes governing search and seizure. A New York drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer will know the laws regarding different degrees of possession and sale, and how different types of drugs and the weight of those drugs affect the New York Penal Law charges. Working with a knowledgeable attorney is one way of ensuring that you have a solid defense.

  
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