Felony drug crimes in the state of New York are broken down into different levels from A1 and A2, being the most severe charges for felony drugs crimes, to E felonies. There’s also what is called a drug kingpin law which requires mandatory prison sentences.
Some of these crimes can result in probation. Some of these crimes mandate prison and a person’s criminal record will be taken into account when determining what sort of punishment that person can receive.
Usually I find myself representing people charged in federal drug cases with having more than a kilo, but I’ve also had cases where they haven’t been charged with a kilo but actually possessed less than a kilo.
While I can’t count how many drug cases I’ve handled over my career, I can say that typically speaking marijuana, cocaine, and heroin tend to be the ones that I most often handle.
Sales, distribution, trafficking, all tend to bring felony charges where a person is looking at prison term. Sometimes on a very small street sale of small amounts of cocaine there wouldn’t be a felony charge. But typically speaking if a person is engaged in any serious amount of drug sales, we’ll bring felony charges. Them the only question becomes is, is the amount large enough or is the organization sophisticated enough for the federal government to take over the prosecution or to initiate.
Another issues also becomes the sophistication of the organization and how much time the federal government has spent investigating the case.
I mean, oftentimes, if the federal government has tapped phones, if they’ve been following certain defendants and investigating the case for a long period of time …
While perhaps when they make an arrest there won’t be kilos found there. There might be less. The federal government still hopes to try to turn various people who’ve been arrested into what’s colloquially called, snitches, in the hopes that those people will then turn over bigger fish for the federal government to fry.
That’s why it’s very important to have a criminal defense lawyer who works in this area and knows the area, the prosecutors offices well, because you never know whether the federal government or the state prosecutors office will take the case once you start getting into hundreds of milligrams of heroin or cocaine.