Arrests for drug crimes in New York are not necessarily limited to people accused of being high-level drug dealers or distributors. These are the stories that frequently pop up in the news, but are only a percentage of the drug arrests that take place across the state.
Many arrests are linked to drug possession. Some of these involve college students who were using the drugs for recreational purposes but will still face the consequences of the arrest and potential conviction. Regardless of the charges, it is essential to have legal protection that will be provided by a lawyer.
In New York, there are a multitude of variables that will affect drug charges and the accompanying penalties. For example, marijuana will be treated differently than cocaine or heroin. If the drugs were being sold close to a school, this too can exponentially increase the level of charges. When placed under arrest, it can be a frightening situation. The fear of a life completely upended by fines, incarceration and the stigma of a drug arrest can be overwhelming. Because of this, legal help is imperative.
Evidence can be substantial, but that does not mean that it is accurate or admissible. If law enforcement violates protocol in making the search and arrest or the evidence is circumstantial, it can be a strong basis for defense. When charges are filed, it is often forgotten that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. For many cases, the evidence is weak.
Even in situations where the person was convicted, it does not necessarily mean there will be harsh penalties. If the amount is small or the person is an addict, it might be possible to have an alternative sentence or a treatment program in lieu of jail. No matter the circumstances, the most importance call that a person should make when placed under arrest for drug crimes is to an experienced lawyer. This is to provide protection, negotiate a plea bargain or to get an outright acquittal. Legal help is the key to any criminal case with drug charges and should not be ignored no matter the issues in the case.
James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.
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