New York’s drug laws are some of the toughest and most complicated in the nation. The state has six degrees of felonies for drug possession alone, and the charges and penalties get much more serious for sale.
All types of sale of a controlled substance are felony offenses, meaning conviction will lead to more than a year in prison. Fifth-degree sale carries a penalty of 1 to 2.5 years in prison, while first-degree sale carries a minimum sentence of 8-20 years for non-major drug traffickers. Conviction on a second offense can bring a sentence minimum of 12-20 years. Defendants convicted as major traffickers face a sentence of 15 years to life.
New York also imposes heavy fines on people convicted of drug sale crimes. A felony offender may be fined a minimum of $5,000. Some convicted people are fined double whatever the price of the sale in question. Major traffickers can be fined $100,000.
It’s important to note that in drug sale cases the prosecution must prove that the defendant had the specific intent to transfer the controlled substance and the ability to do so. If they can’t prove these elements, the defendant will face lower charge, such as drug possession.
A conviction on drug sale charges can change a defendant’s life forever. Every person accused of a crime has the right to a defense, and it’s crucial that accused people seek out the best criminal defense attorney they can find.
If you have been accused of a drug crime, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. If possible, don’t talk to the police before talking to a lawyer. The charges you face are serious, and you need help putting together a serious defense.