The state of New York has a reputation for having some of the United States' most stringent drug laws. The state classifies substances that are relatively well known, such as cocaine and heroin, along with the compounds that are used in manufacturing them.
In addition, New York officials are especially focusing on examining medical providers and other individuals as part of prescription medication-related investigations. This is due to the fact that many patients today are becoming addicted to pain-relief narcotics and other medications. If you are facing drug-related charges, these charges can unfortunately have a negative impact on your life both in the short term and in the long term.
Back in 1973, the state passed some of the strictest drug laws in the United States, called the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The penalty for the sale of two ounces-plus of cannabis, cocaine, opium, morphine or heroin was between 15 years in prison to life behind bars.
Over three decades later, the laws underwent revision in 2009 to get rid of the mandatory minimum sentences. This change made it possible for judges to sentence those convicted of drug-related offenses to shorter sentences or to treatment instead of prison.
You can potentially face various types of charges, including the following:
- Drug manufacturing
- Distribution of drugs
- Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute
- Drug possession
In addition, your drug charges may involve a wide variety of drugs, such as follows:
- Prescription drugs, such as OxyContin and Oxycodone
As a result of the state's legislative drug-related history, New York drug laws remain complex and can sometimes seem convoluted. After all, half a dozen felony classes have been highlighted just for the possession of drugs.
The complexity of the state's drug laws combined with the fear and humiliation you may feel after being arrested can naturally be mentally and emotionally overwhelming. Making matters worse is the prospect of having your reputation ruined, losing career opportunities and even losing your freedom as a result of a drug-related conviction. However, an understanding of the law in New York may help you to effectively defend yourself against a drug charge and seek the most personally favorable outcome considering the circumstances surrounding your case.