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Westchester Drug Crime Lawyers

Legal Representation from a Westchester Drug Crime Lawyer

Drug offenses are those crimes which involve controlled substances. Criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana are among the most common drug crimes in New York. State and federal law prohibit the possession, manufacturing, cultivation, distribution, sale, and trafficking of street drugs and prescription drugs. If you have been arrested for a drug crime in White Plains, it is crucial that you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. You may be at risk of facing a misdemeanor or felony conviction, and it is likely that your penalties will be enhanced and the outcome of your case negatively affected if you wait too long to hire a highly experienced drug crime attorney who will aggressively protect your rights.

Defending Westchester County Drug Charges

Your case may seem rather hopeless. Law enforcement may have discovered drugs on your person, in your car or on your property. You may feel that you were "caught in the act." Although the odds may seem against you, a highly experienced Westchester County drug crime lawyer can still work to seek a positive case outcome on your behalf. As an example, law enforcement may have conducted a search and discovered illegal narcotics. What if they did not have a valid search warrant for this or did not have probable cause? A lawyer may be able to have your case dismissed after a suppression hearing designed to protect your constitutional rights against warrantless search and seizure.

New York State drug laws are constantly evolving. The best Westchester criminal defense lawyers not only keep themselves fully informed of these changes, but they utilize them to the full advantage of their clients. In Westchester County, Robert Schuster is one of the leading lawyers in the field of criminal defense, and many of his clients come to the firm for help with drug-related charges.

Drug Trafficking Crimes in New York

In New York State criminal legislation for drug crimes, there is a handful of laws specifically outlawing drug possession, which is arguably the simplest form of drug crime out there as it only requires holding onto an illicit substance. Drug trafficking is predictably even more complicated and the actual charges you face can be altered by a number of factors.

You can be charged differently based on:

  • The drug in question.
  • How much was present at the time of your arrest.
  • The purity of the substance.
  • Location of interaction (near a schoolyard).
  • Your criminal record of drug crime convictions.

Keep in mind that drug trafficking is a specific term for selling or moving a drug for profit but the law does not stop with that definition. You can be penalized for distributing a drug for other purposes as well. Distribution can be as simple as handing an amount of an illicit substance to a friend. Even if they do not use or sell it themselves, you can be citing for distribution, a form of trafficking.

What are Drug Manufacturing Crimes?

Whereas local law enforcement agencies are primarily concerned with and tasked to track down and arrest drug crime offenders for possession, trafficking, and distribution, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) generally takes on the more serious offenses, like drug manufacturing. Any sort of manufacturing process to produce more of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is strictly prohibited in New York State and is often punishable with a felony charge. This includes cultivated marijuana by any means, even if it is for nothing more than personal use.

Keep in mind that if you are arrested for drug manufacturing crimes, your opposition has likely multiplied in strength. No longer will you have to worry about what a local state prosecutor is going to say in your trial; instead, the DEA or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could have their hands in your case, feeding the prosecution with manpower and evidence that normally would be reserved for cases involving criminal drug cartels. It is imperative when you face drug manufacturing charges that you retain the legal counsel of a professional attorney who can dedicate their time to your case, not an overworked, impersonal public defender.

Protect Your Property from Asset Forfeiture

According to the FBI’s own definition of asset forfeiture – as described on their website here – it allows law enforcement agencies to take the profit out of crime by removing any illicit or stolen goods from their property and holding it until further notice. In reality, this is nothing more than using powerful words to try to make asset forfeiture look cleaner and more beneficial than what it actually is: lawful stealing conducted by the government. Depending on the criminal violation they are investigating, federal agents can sometimes take your property without a warrant and hold onto it for as long as they deem necessary.

In regards to a drug crime, items that could be confiscated by police include:

  • Illicit substances
  • Materials used in manufacturing drugs
  • Any paraphernalia related to the use of a drug
  • Your vehicle if suspected to be used in drug trafficking

For as long as asset forfeiture has been used, it has been surrounded in controversy and hotly contested by legal professionals across the country. If some of your property has been seized by law enforcement in correlation to a drug crime, you can take action to return it and restore your rights, but must do so quickly.

Do you need a Westchester criminal attorney on your side?

Drug crimes are extremely serious. Contact Westchester Criminal Defense Attprney Robert Schuster immediately if you have been arrested for a drug crime. When you need an experienced, highly knowledgeable White Plains lawyer with the talent and determination to make certain your rights are protected to the maximum extent allowed by the new drug laws in New York, he is the lawyer you need.