Drug crime charges in New York City are among the most common charges facing individuals in the system. This is true all over the country. After drunk driving charges, drug chages and petty theft are flooding courts. This is possibly due to the poor economy. It seems the crimes of weakness and vice usually go hand in hand with bad economies. Drug crimes are classified as anything from possession of marijuana to trafficking of heroin and other illicit substances. Obviously if you’re picked up on pot charges your chance of having a non-custodial disposition, ie “jail time” are greatly reduced, whereas being charged with something like criminal sales of a controlled substance will have jail time associated with the drug charges.
Finding the right drug crimes lawyer when charged is critical to the outcome of your case. Every attorney has their own individual style. Some drug crimes lawyers have more courtroom experience than others and will press for trial in drug trafficking cases. When preparing for a trial, these drug crime lawyers will attempt to dig out and find those incidents of police misconduct, areas where evidence can be suppressed due to 4th Amendment violations so that by the time the case goes to trial there is little evidence to be used against you. Others prefer negotiating with the state or feds to find a compromise in the drug charges that will reduce the charges and/or sentence or even conclude your case with probation. This may or may not include cooperation with the state and government in future drug crimes cases. Finding an attorney who will work with you, not overrule you is critical.
Understanding your drug charges is always helpful as it allows you to understand the severity of your case and thus find the right attorney. New York has published it’s penal code online and can be found HERE.
As you will see when reviewing the laws associated with your drug charges there are mandatory minimums associated with each. This can be detrimental to finding a good disposition for your case. Currently in the Senate, Rand Paul and Patrick Leahy are working to have minimum mandatory sentencing laws for drug crimes repealed but until such time you will have to work within the confines of the current laws.
It goes without saying that finding the right attorney can make all the difference in the world of a drug crimes case’s outcome. Many people are left wondering whether or not to pay for a private attorney, drug crimes lawyer, or move forward with a public (Legal Aid) lawyer. Most Legal Aid lawyers are very good drug crime lawyers, but they are over-loaded and cannot always devote the type of time to your case that they would like. It is for this reason that they often receive a bad reputation. Private attorneys have fewer cases and more incentives to make things happen and make it happen quickly (especially if they are retained using a flat fee).
Whichever route you choose, understand what your options are and then find the appropriate attorney accordingly. Ask yourself what you wish to achieve. Is it to have your day in court, to be proven innocent? Or do you wish time outside of prison?
Whichever path you choose for yourself or a loved one, understand that you have options. Even if you have current counsel and are dissatisfied you may choose to replace him or her with another one that fits your goals and style better. It is up to you to decide what you want in your drug crimes lawyer.
If you are looking for an experienced drug crimes lawyer for your state drug charges or federal drug crime then you should certainly make use of the resources available to you. Utilize legal libraries, review sites such as AVVO, and call attorneys who offer free consultations.
The Offices of Saint-Pre and Associates currently offer free phone consultations about criminal charges. Drug crimes are especially scrutinized in New York and you will need someone with experience in handling these types of cases. Attorney Mike Saint-Pre used to be a prosecutor at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office before going into criminal defense and can assist you with better understanding your case from the perspective of both sides of the aisle.