As someone who has been accused of a drug crime, it’s important for you to build a defense. Whether you were selling drugs or were simply caught up in a sting accidentally, it’s vital that you protect your own best interests.
In New York, you can face serious penalties for even being in possession of drugs. Offenses can be harshly penalized with time in jail, heavy fines or other punishments.
To obtain a conviction, the prosecution has to:
- Show that you were in possession of a controlled substance
- Show that your possession of that controlled substance was unlawful
- Prove that you knowingly had the substance on your person
These rules help, because it prevents the prosecution from seeking penalties for people who didn’t know they were in possession of drugs or who were carrying legal drugs out of the packaging. It can also prevent you from being prosecuted because you had something in your possession that merely looked like drugs to the arresting officer.
Interestingly, there are two kinds of possession. You have physical possession, which is when you are physically in possession of the drug at the time of the arrest. You also have constructive possession, which can happen if you merely have control over the place where those drugs are found — like the car you happen to be driving.
The good news is that there are good defenses to the allegations. You can claim that you had lawful possession, didn’t have enough to result in charges or even that you didn’t know you had the drugs in your possession.
If you’re accused of a drug crime, fight back. You deserve to protect your rights and should always be treated as innocent until proven otherwise.