Both federal law and New York law address a variety of drug offenses. However, a federal charge typically leads to a longer sentence in the event of a conviction. No matter the type of drug-related crime for which you may receive a conviction, it can have major consequences long-term.
Possession of paraphernalia
Paraphernalia refers to any items used to hide, inhale, prepare or inject an illegal substance. This equipment includes syringes, bongs, pipes and rolling papers.
Possession of drugs
Both federal and state laws make it illegal to possess controlled substances, such as heroin, marijuana and cocaine. If police find an illegal drug in your possession, you might face a charge of simple possession if you have a small quantity on you, or you may be charged with possession with the intent of distributing the substance if you have a larger amount.
If authorities determine that you took part in the process for producing an illicit drug, you may face a manufacturing charge. Prosecutors usually have to prove that you intended to manufacture the substance and possessed it before you can be convicted. You may face prison time and fines if you end up being convicted of such a charge.
According to laws that cover trafficking, you cannot legally import, sell or transport controlled substances, including cocaine and marijuana. Trafficking is a felony, which means it is more serious than mere possession, as it typically involves moving around large quantities of these substances. Three years in prison to life behind bars may result from a trafficking conviction.
If authorities charge you with dealing drugs, which usually involves just one individual selling a relatively small amount of the substances, you can face a fine and prison time if convicted. For instance, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, you can receive five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine for selling less than 50 grams of marijuana. Meanwhile, selling 1,000 kilograms may result in 10-plus years in prison.
If convicted of a drug-related crime, not only will you face criminal penalties but also you may struggle to land a job or even obtain housing in the future. However, a knowledgeable attorney in the state of New York will scrutinize the prosecution's evidence and advocate on your behalf in an effort to obtain the most personally favorable outcome possible.