New York is tough on drugs. For the most part, this means penalizing possession of any controlled substance. However, some drugs are a greater concern for this and other states, causing state and federal laws to penalize some drugs charges harsher than others. Take heroin for example. This drug is back on the radar across the nation because of the devastating effects it has had in some high profile deaths. While it is a heavily penalized drug charge, it is possible to plead the penalties down to treatment for first time offenders.
What are the laws for heroin possession in New York? Possession charges occur for one of two reasons. First, the accused is in possession of the drug for personal use. Second, a person is in possession of heroin for sale or trafficking. Any of these situations could lead to serious penalties for the accused.
Under New York law, possession is when a person knowingly possesses any amount of heroin, and it is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor. It can become a felony charge when the accused is in possession of 500 mg or more. Sale is defined as selling any amount and is considered to be a Class De felony. This can increase if the accused is found in possession of a half-ounce or more of heroin. Finally, trafficking is considered a Class A-I felony.
Whether it is for possession, sale or trafficking, facing heroin charges is a serious situation. Thus, those accused of such a charge should take the time to understand the matter, what penalties one might face and to explore criminal defense options.
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.
About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…