A New York Defense Attorney Explains Drug Crimes
Drug crimes are serious crimes. Drug cultivation and manufacture is illegal under New York State law, as well as under the federal laws of the United States. When a defendant is prosecuted for a federal crime, he frequently will face charges that carry length mandatory minimum sentences. In some cases, the mandatory minimum sentence for manufacture of illegal narcotics could be as long as life imprisonment. Penalties vary depending upon the type of substance as well as the amount of the narcotic in a defendant’s possession.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation to defendants accused of drug cultivation and manufacture. Our legal team understands the strict federal penalties imposed on defendants convicted of cultivating, manufacturing, or even possessing narcotics with intent to distribute. We will work hard to help you put together a vigorous defense or to assist you in negotiating the most favorable plea agreement possible. In some cases, it may even be possible to work out an immunity deal if you have information to provide the government. We can help you to evaluate your options and pursue a legal defense strategy likely to result in the best outcomes possible in a situation where you face a grave threat to your future.
Federal Drug laws on Drug Possession, Cultivation and Manufacture
The federal government criminalizes possession, possession with intent to distribute, manufacture or cultivation, and distribution of controlled substances. Defendants may be charged with a wide variety of different drug offenses including but not limited to:
- Marijuana cultivation
- Meth manufacture
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Simple possession
- Possession with intent to deliver
- Drug sales or drug dealing
- Conspiracy to distribute
- Distribution of medical marijuana
- Federal and major felony drug trafficking
- Possession of methamphetamine, with intent to sell
- Heroin possession with intent to sell or deliver
- Ecstasy possession, with intent to sell or deliver
- Possession of hallucinogenic drugs
- Possessions of hallucinogens with intent to deliver/distribute
- Anabolic steroid drug crimes
- Anabolic steroids possession
- Anabolic steroids possession with intent to deliver or distribute
- Analog / analogue drug crimes
- Possession of analog /analogue drugs
- Possession of analog / analogue drugs with intent to sell
- Ephedra drug crimes
- Benzos or date rape drug crimes
- Possession of prescription drugs
- Sale of prescription drugs
- Oxycodone and Vicodin crimes
- Prescription fraud
- Crack cocaine crimes
The specific penalties which apply for drug crimes involving these and other controlled substances will vary based on the type of substance, as well as the amount of substance in a defendant’s possession or under a defendant’s control. It is possible for a defendant to be charged with a serious drug offense, including possession with intent to distribute, solely based on the amount of drugs- even if there is absolutely no other evidence the defendant was distributing or selling narcotics.
Defendants may also be charged with drug offenses based on having certain chemicals or equipment which is used in the manufacture of controlled substances. U.S. Code Section 841 contains a very long list of prohibited acts related to drug offenses.
This federal code section outlines a variety of offenses involving listed chemicals. Under this law, penalties are imposed on anyone who intentionally or knowingly possesses listed chemicals with intent to manufacture controlled substances or with knowledge that the chemical likely will be used to manufacture controlled substances.
The prosecutor must prove the chemicals are in the defendant’s possession or control and that the defendant intended to use the chemicals or knew the chemicals would be used to create controlled substances. If the prosecutor successfully makes the case, the term of imprisonment just for possessing these chemicals could be either a maximum of 10 years imprisonment or 20 years imprisonment depending on the chemical.
The same code section also imposes these serious penalties on defendants who simply took steps to evade record keeping or reporting requirements in connection with listed chemicals. In other words, if you intentionally structure the purchase of listed chemicals and purchase them in small amounts to avoid reporting requirements, you could be jailed for as long as 20 years.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Drug Cultivation and Manufacture
The federal government, in an effort to fight a War on Drugs, past draconian drug laws which have been largely responsible for the mass incarceration problem in the United States. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world and prisons in the United States house almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners, despite the fact America accounts for only 1/20th of the world’s population.
One of the many problems with the manner in which the United States treats drug crimes relates to mandatory minimum sentences imposed based on the amount of a controlled substance in a person’s possession. The law does not provide room for assessing what a defendant’s actual role in a drug offense is. As a result, individuals with low-level roles in the drug trade can end up facing the threat of decades imprisonment simply because they had a lot of a controlled substance on their person or under their control.
Federal prosecutors unfortunately use the threat of these draconian mandatory minimum sentences to coerce defendants accused of drug crimes into accepting plea agreements. Human Rights Watch issued a comprehensive report detailing the tactics used by prosecutors to threaten defendants with drug charges far more serious than they likely deserve in order to prompt them to agree to plea deals to avoid the need for a trial. Because of these tactics, only around three percent of federal drug cases end up going to trial.
Defendants need to understand how the federal justice system is stacked against them when they have been accused of a drug crime, and should do everything possible to try to protect their right to a trial and their right to be considered innocent until proved guilty.
How a NY Drug Manufacture and Cultivation Lawyer Can Help
At Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, our legal team has the experience necessary to stand up to federal prosecutors and to fight for the best outcome for our clients. We work hard to help you develop an effective legal strategy to secure an acquittal or to get the best plea deal possible under the circumstances. Our legal experience in the case of drug crimes is unparalleled and we are ready to put our knowledge to work to fight for you. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and to learn more about the legal assistance we can offer.