A New York Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer Explains Conspiracy to Distribute
Under the federal anti-drug laws found in 21 U.S. Code section 841, it is a serious crime to “manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense,” a controlled substance. Defendants can be accused of possession with intent to distribute based upon the volume of drugs under their control. If there is actual proof of drug distribution efforts, defendants may also be charged. Penalties for drug distribution can be very serious, with many defendants facing mandatory minimum sentence.
Distribution of drugs is not just illegal on the federal level. Defendants could be charged with criminal offenses in the state of New York, which could lead to prison time as well. New York penal laws on drug distribution aren’t as serious as federal laws, but conviction can still be life changing.
With distribution of drugs carrying such serious consequences, it is important for defendants to know the definition of this offense. It is also important to realize that you could actually be charged with and face penalties for drug distribution even if your personally never touched a drug. If you are accused of conspiracy to distribute, you would be facing all of the same penalties as your co-conspirators face.
Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances
In most large-scale drug operations, and even many small scale operations, there is not just one person involved in producing or obtaining the controlled substances and then delivering them. Instead, there may be multiple people with different roles. Someone may be responsible for procuring or producing the controlled substances, for example, while others do the work of physically selling the drugs and still others help to launder the drug money.
Anyone involved in any aspect of this type of operation, including simply giving advice on how to effectively distribute controlled substances, could find themselves faced with criminal charges for all crimes committed by anyone who is taking part in the drug distribution scheme. On the federal level, this is because of a law found in 21 U.S. Code section 846.
21 U.S. Code section 846 indicates that anyone who attempts or conspires to commit any offense within the subchapter that deals with federal drug crimes will face the penalties which would be imposed for committing the drug crime. In other words, if you conspire with someone else to convince him to distribute heroin, you can be charged with distributing heroin.
New York law also punishes individuals who participate in conspiracies to distribute drugs or in organized rings aimed at producing and profiting from controlled substances. There is even a special section of the penal law found in N.Y. Penal Code section 220.77 which makes it a class A-1 felony to operate as a director of an organization which sells at least $75,000 in controlled substances.
These and other state and federal laws make sure that everyone who participates in a drug distribution operation can be held accountable for all of the laws that were broken as part of the operation.
Getting Help with Drug Conspiracy Charges from a NY Defense Attorney
Drug conspiracy charges can result in a defendant facing a lengthy mandatory minimum sentence on the federal level, even if the defendant’s actual involvement with the conspiracy was at a relatively low level. Prosecutors often use the threat of charging defendants with crimes carrying lengthy mandatory minimums in order to try to get plea deals. This can be especially important for prosecutors in conspiracy cases where it can sometimes be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that people worked together to break the law.
If you are charged, you need to make sure you fight hard for your future, especially when mandatory minimum sentences are a possibility. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC represents defendants accused of conspiring as part of drug distribution rings. We can help you to explore solutions ranging from trading testimony against others in the organization in exchange for immunity to trying to secure an acquittal by undermining evidence against you. Give us a call as soon as you can when you’ve been charged to learn more about the assistance offered.