Drug charges can range from misdemeanor charges to multi-jurisdictional federal felonies. Regardless of the charge, you need a competent and dedicated criminal defense attorney to help you obtain the most favorable outcome. Depending upon the nature of the drug crime you're charged with, your attorney may also advocate on your behalf for the imposition of an alternative sentencing structure wherein you are able to obtain rehabilitation for an underlying substance abuse problem. In Brooklyn Criminal Court, for example, alternatives to incarceration such as drug treatment court are often a viable option for individuals who will benefit from and successfully complete such programs. By working with an experienced attorney, such as Michael Redenburg, through the drug defense process, you will have an experienced advocate guide you through the process and help you decide the best course to take.
Drug Possession Cases
Drug possession crimes generally fall into two categories: possession for personal use and possession with intent to distribute. The former likely carries a lower penalty and the distinction between the two crimes is often a source of contention between prosecutors and drug defense attorneys. The criminal code contains guidelines for determining whether the accused had the intent to distribute the drugs in his possession or was merely transporting the contraband for personal use. Factors considered include:
- Quantity of drugs in the defendant’s possession;
- Location of drugs when found (e.g., pocket or container);
- Presence of baggies or a scale;
- Observance of hand-to-hand transactions with others; and
- Presence of large amounts of money in the defendant’s possession.
Drug Cultivation or Manufacture
If you are facing charges relating to the cultivation of marijuana or the manufacture of illegal drugs, you should have a criminal defense attorney aggressively representing you because of the severity of the potential consequences. Law enforcement sometimes circumvent the bounds of constitutional criminal procedure when engaging in the surveillance of alleged manufacture or grow operations. For this reason, there is a possibility you could have these charges dismissed altogether if your attorney can successfully argue for the suppression of drugs seized as a result of unlawful surveillance.
Drug Sales or Trafficking
Drug trafficking activity often crosses state or national lines and could result in the involvement of federal authorities in your drug crimes case. If you are facing both state and federal drug trafficking allegations, your attorney may begin by arguing that only one prosecution is necessary. Your attorney will also argue that a reasonable bail be set as criminal court judges often set bail in these types of case. Also not uncommon in narcotics cases is a hearing to determine where the bail money is coming from. In other words, the Court wants to make sure that the bail money being put up for your release is not the proceeds from illegal drug sales. It is also important to note that money need not exchange hands between two individuals in order for one to be charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance. Practically speaking, however, when a so-called undercover "buy and bust" takes place and the authorities recover pre-recorded "buy money" the case is substantially stronger for the prosecution.
If you are charged with the criminal sale of drugs, also referred to criminal sale of a controlled substance, you will likely be charged with a felony offense. If you are found guilty of, or plea guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance and you were within a specified distance of a playground, school or daycare your sentence may be harsher. Regardless of the nature or extenuating circumstances of your drug sales charge, your lawyer will advocate for a reduction or dismissal of charges – particularly if this is your first offense or you are engaged in the sale of small quantities of drugs.
Even if you are facing a misdemeanor charge, it is in your best interests to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Michael Redenburg, Esq at (212)240-9645 for a consultation today.