New York Possession of a Controlled Substance Defense Lawyer
Our New York Possession of a Controlled Substance Defense Lawyer describes a controlled substance as a drug that is primarily used for the diagnosing, cure, treatment or prevention of a disease in either humans or animals. These drugs generally must be obtained by a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. Possessing a controlled substance without a prescription is considered to be a drug offense. These drugs can include cocaine or cocaine derivative, vicodin, valium, heroin or heroin derivative, methadone, and marijuana.
Under federal government guidelines, these controlled substances are grouped into categories or schedules, according to their history of abuse, the potential for abuse, their medical benefits, their addictive nature and the risk to public health.
The definition of possession is the care, custody, control or management of any of these controlled substances. For a person to be convicted of unlawful possession, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knew that it was a controlled substance and that they knowingly retained custody of that substance. It is up to the defense attorney to prove that the substance was obtained through legal channels, which would primarily be a doctor's prescription.
If a controlled substance is found in a person's vehicle, the charge of possession may be proved once it's demonstrated that the vehicle indeed belongs to the person who is charged and that the person exercised control over the vehicle. In the case where the vehicle doesn't belong to the accused, the charge will depend on whether the person was the driver or the passenger at the time of the arrest. In New York State presumptive possession will dictate possession of the drug.
According to federal and state laws it is illegal to willingly possess a controlled substance such as methamphetamine (crystal meth), cocaine, LSD and heroin. If you have been arrested and charged with the possession of a controlled substance, it's important that you consult with our New York Possession of a Controlled Substance defense Lawyer staff as soon as possible.
Depending on the nature of the controlled substance and the quantities in your possession, you may also be charged with intent to distribute, which can increase the fines and/or jail time that you'll be sentenced to.
While possessing a controlled substance is a felony case in most instances, there are instances where the possession is of a low weight where it is a misdemeanor. People who are regarded as first-time offenders may be treated leniently by the courts. Regardless, a person convicted of this drug-related crime may face any number of penalties, including:
- Jail time
- Mandatory random drug tests
- Community service
- Court mandated drug rehabilitation programs
Any conviction on a drug-related crime will severely impact your future, regardless of whether you spend any time in jail. Because so many employers, banks and landlords do criminal background checks, you may find it difficult to get a good job, get a loan or rent a house or apartment with a drug conviction on your permanent record. If you're a first-time offender, you need the help of our experienced New York Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer staff. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC, our legal team will fight to help first-time offenders avoid jail time and help them with alternative sentencing that includes community service or small fines.
If you've been arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, or any other drug crime, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC as soon as possible so we can begin working on your defense. Contact our New York Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer team at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW or contact one of our New York City offices that allow us to serve you in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx or Brooklyn, our office in Westchester County or one of our Long Island offices in Nassau County or Suffolk County.