Long Island Drug Crime Attorneys Serving Suffolk & Nassau Counties
If you or a loved one was accused of a crime involving drugs, it’s important to retain an experienced drug crime lawyer to protect your rights. Our criminal defense attorneys serve clients throughout Suffolk and Nassau County. Schedule a free consultation with The Matera Law Firm today and let our 25 years of experience work to protect you.
Law enforcement officers and state prosecutors in New York work hard to secure convictions in drug cases. The sale, manufacture, and possession of certain substances are illegal in New York state. Many of these substances are illegal under federal law, as well. Depending on the extent of the person’s involvement in the drug trade, law enforcement agencies may rely on lengthy undercover operations, wiretaps, or other tools of investigation. In other instances, drug charges only involve the possession of illicit substances.
No matter what the extent of the drug charge may be, those who are accused deserve a strong defense. Drug charges can carry exorbitant sentences and extreme penalties, even for non-violent offenders. If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug-related crime in Nassau or Suffolk Counties, contact the Matera Law Firm. Our team of drug crime attorneys will fight hard to protect your rights. We have nearly three decades of combined legal experience in fighting for those who have been accused of crimes. Contact the Matera Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss the details of your drug-related charge.
What Are Some Common Drug Crime Charges?
Many substances are illegal under both state and federal law. Under New York state law, the manufacturing, trafficking, and possession of many drugs can be punishable. If you have been accused of any of these crimes, hiring an accomplished drug crime lawyer will give you the best chance of beating the charges. Some of the key terms related to drug crime charges include:
Trafficking and Distribution
When someone is charged with “distribution” or “trafficking,” it implies that they have allegedly sold or delivered a substance in an illegal way. Trafficking may involve the sale of illegal substances. It may also involve heavily regulated substances sold in an illegal manner. Oftentimes, a charge of trafficking occurs when someone attempts to sell an illicit substance to an undercover law enforcement agent.
Some people mistakenly think that a drug trafficking charge involves the shipment of controlled substances across state lines. Actually, the distinction between a possession and trafficking charge has more to do with the quantity of drugs in question. In other words, you do not have to intend to sell drugs to be charged with trafficking. The type and severity of penalties for drug trafficking convictions vary widely. Some of the determining factors include:
- The kind and quantity of the substance
- The location at which the defendant was arrested
- The defendant’s prior criminal record
If the defendant was apprehended near certain community centers, like schools, they will face more severe repercussions. The sentencing for drug trafficking can range from a few years of incarceration to life in prison.
Controlled Substances and Drug Classifications
Both New York state and U.S. federal laws categorize some substances as “controlled.” This means that the possession and use of these substances are regulated and controlled by the law. Typically, such substances are further categorized into different “schedules.” For instance, cannabis (also known as “marijuana”) is considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance under U.S. federal law. Other common illegal drugs are also categorized in this way. Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance, for example. The penalties for possession or trafficking will vary depending on the schedule of the substance that is involved. No matter what classification of drug your charge involves, contact a skilled drug crime lawyer as soon as possible.
Manufacturing and Cultivation
The manufacturing of controlled substances is illegal under both state and federal law. Manufacturing takes different forms in relation to different substances. It can include:
- Growing cannabis
- “Cooking” methamphetamine
- Mixing chemicals to produce LSD
- Procuring ingredients used for drug manufacturing
An individual may face manufacturing charges for offering to assist in the cultivation of a controlled substance. If you’ve been charged with manufacturing and cultivation of a controlled substance, contact The Matera Law Firm to arrange a free consultation with an experienced drug crime lawyer.
Possession is the most common drug-related charge. Most of these charges occur when people are arrested for violations of local drug laws. To secure a possession conviction, the state prosecutor must prove that the defendant:
- Intentionally and knowingly possessed the controlled substance
- The defendant did not have a valid prescription for the substance
- The defendant possessed enough of the substance for sale or personal use
There are two primary types of possession charges: Actual and constructive. An actual possession charge occurs when someone is accused of having the controlled substance on their person. A constructive charge does not entail direct possession. This type of charge takes place when the defendant has control of the location at which drugs are found. For example, if someone has the key to a locker where a controlled substance is stored, it may result in a constructive possession charge.
This type of charge is also applicable when a controlled substance is found in someone’s car during a routine traffic stop. In some cases, a prosecutor will use a possession charge to support further charges against a defendant. For instance, when someone has drugs in their possession, they may also be charged with intent to distribute. As we noted, a trafficking charge does not require evidence that the person intended to sell or distribute the substance. Rather, trafficking charges often result when the person has more of a substance than could plausibly be “for personal use.”
If you are facing a possession or trafficking charge in Suffolk or Nassau Counties, contact the Matera Law Firm. We know that it can be frightening to face a drug-related offense. We will fight hard on your behalf to build the strongest defense possible. Our skilled drug crime lawyers have a long history of winning cases for our clients.
What Are Some Common Defenses Against Drug Charges?
When you have been accused of a crime, you deserve a strong defense. The drug crime lawyers at the Matera Law Firm have the experience necessary to protect the rights of our clients. Each drug-related allegation involves a unique set of factors. When you hire a drug crime lawyer to oversee your case, they will assess the facts to determine the best course of action. Some defense strategies are more common than others in drug cases.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
One of the most common defenses against drug charges is an appeal to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This amendment prohibits unlawful search and seizure. Oftentimes, drug-related charges happen when officers find a controlled substance while searching the defendant’s property. If the search was conducted in an unlawful manner, any drugs that were found cannot be used as evidence in a trial. A drug crime lawyer will investigate your case to determine whether you were the victim of unlawful search and seizure.
Police have the legal authority to run sting operations to stop drug crimes. But if a law enforcement officer pressures someone to commit a crime that they would not have otherwise committed, it is known as entrapment. Typically, an entrapment defense is most persuasive when the drugs in question were the property of the state. There are many defense tactics in drug-related cases. Other defense strategies include:
- Planted drugs
- Medical marijuana exceptions
- Challenging crime lab analysis
- The substance is the property of another person
At The Matera Law Firm, we have years of experience in successfully defending our clients. If you are being charged with an offense, our accomplished New York drug crime lawyers will work tirelessly to secure a positive outcome for you.
Contact the Experienced Long Island Drug Crime Lawyers at The Matera Law Firm Today
Do not face a drug-related allegation on your own. Reach out to the premier drug crime lawyers in Long Island, NY. Our team of legal professionals has over 25 years of combined experience. New York has some of the most severe drug-related penalties in the nation. Fortunately, the drug crime lawyers at the Matera Law Firm have a track record of defending clients against criminal allegations. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. Follow us on Facebook for daily updates!