Drug Trafficking & Distribution

New York Drug Trafficking Attorney

Defending Drug Trafficking & Distribution Charges in Suffolk & Nassau Counties

The State of New York has some of the harshest drug distribution and drug trafficking laws in the country. Not only are these laws notoriously severe, they are also extremely complex. To make matters worse, New York prosecutors are infamous for aggressively pursuing drug-related charges to uphold their “tough on drugs” reputation.

When the odds are stacked against you, you can level the playing field by retaining the counsel of Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP, a firm that has a national reputation for results. Our New York drug trafficking lawyers have represented thousands of clients at the state and federal level. Our team includes renowned legal professionals who are known as thought leaders in their respective fields, and we have diverse experience as former prosecutors, legal aid attorneys, and even judges. Barket Epstein has the resources and experience to take on any type of drug crime case, at any level.

For a free consultation and review of your drug trafficking or distribution case, call (888) 779-0267 or contact us online to speak with our New York drug trafficking attorneys.

What is a Drug Distribution Charge in New York?

To be guilty of the criminal sale, or distribution, of a controlled substance or marijuana in New York, a person must knowingly and unlawfully sell a controlled substance or marijuana. New York law provides an extensive list of controlled substances, with the most common being: cocaine, ecstasy (“molly”), GHB, heroin, ketamine, LSD (“acid”), methadone, methamphetamine (“meth”), PCP, prescription drugs, and psilocybin mushrooms (“mushrooms” or “shrooms”).

You can face different charges for the same general activity of selling controlled substances or marijuana. The specific charge is dependent upon the circumstances of the alleged conduct, including what was sold, how much, and the recipient and environment.

In the most serious allegations, prosecutors may charge someone with “operating as a major drug trafficker.”

What is Drug Trafficking in New York?

In New York, drug trafficking generally refers to the illegal distribution, sale, transportation, or importation of controlled substances.

Common forms of drug trafficking can include:

  • Distribution and Sale: Selling or providing controlled substances to others, whether on a small scale or as part of a larger operation.
  • Transportation: Moving illegal drugs from one location to another, often across state or national borders.
  • Manufacturing: Illegally producing controlled substances, such as methamphetamine or illegal laboratories.
  • Smuggling: Bringing illegal drugs into the country or across state lines, often through covert means.
  • Conspiracy: Collaborating with others to engage in drug trafficking activities.
  • Money Laundering: Concealing the proceeds from drug trafficking by making them appear to come from legitimate sources.

Penalties for drug trafficking in New York vary based on factors such as the type and quantity of drugs involved, the defendant's criminal history, and the circumstances of the offense.

The penalties can be severe and may include:

  • Criminal Charges: Drug trafficking offenses can lead to criminal charges such as criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance, or conspiracy.
  • Imprisonment: Individuals convicted of drug trafficking may face significant prison sentences. The length of imprisonment depends on the specific charges and the severity of the offense.
  • Fines: Convicted individuals may be required to pay fines as part of their punishment. The amount of the fines can vary and is typically influenced by the type and quantity of drugs involved.
  • Forfeiture of Assets: Authorities may seize assets, including money, property, or vehicles, believed to be connected to drug trafficking.
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences: In some cases, mandatory minimum sentences may apply, requiring the court to impose a specific minimum term of imprisonment.
  • Probation and Parole: Instead of or in addition to imprisonment, a court may impose probation or parole, subjecting the individual to supervision and certain conditions.
  • Professional Consequences: A drug trafficking conviction can have long-lasting consequences, affecting one's professional and personal life, including employment opportunities and professional licenses.

Additionally, if the drug trafficking operation occurred in more than one state besides New York, or more than one country, then you may face federal drug trafficking charges. A federal conviction is punishable by harsher sentences, including lengthier prison terms and fines worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

Common Legal Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges

A legal defense is a strategy or argument presented by a defendant in response to criminal charges. The goal of a legal defense is to challenge the prosecution's case and either obtain an acquittal or reduce the severity of the charges and associated penalties.

When facing drug trafficking charges, there are several potential legal defenses that a defendant may consider. Keep in mind that the viability of these defenses depends on the specific facts and circumstances of each case.

Here are some potential legal defenses to drug trafficking charges:

  • Lack of Knowledge or Intent: If the defendant can demonstrate that they were unaware of the presence of drugs or did not have the intent to engage in drug trafficking, it may be a defense. This is particularly relevant in cases where the defendant had no control over the area where drugs were found.
  • Unlawful Search and Seizure: The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement conducted an illegal search or seizure, any evidence obtained as a result may be deemed inadmissible in court.
  • Chain of Custody Issues: Proper handling of evidence is crucial in drug trafficking cases. If there are discrepancies or issues with the chain of custody of the seized drugs, it could weaken the prosecution's case.
  • Violation of Miranda Rights: If law enforcement failed to properly inform the defendant of their Miranda rights (right to remain silent, right to an attorney, etc.) during the arrest or interrogation, it could impact the admissibility of statements made by the defendant.
  • Entrapment: If the defendant can show that they were induced or coerced by law enforcement into committing the drug trafficking offense, an entrapment defense may be applicable.
  • Procedural Errors: Any procedural errors or violations of the defendant's rights during the arrest, booking, or trial may provide grounds for a defense.
  • Challenging Witnesses: The defense may challenge the credibility or reliability of prosecution witnesses, including law enforcement officers and informants.
  • Medical Necessity: In some cases, a defendant may argue that their involvement with controlled substances was medically necessary, such as in the case of medical marijuana in states where it is legal.
  • Constructive Possession: If drugs are found in a shared space, the defense may argue that the defendant did not have exclusive control over the area where the drugs were discovered.

Experienced Counsel at Every Stage of Your Criminal Case

Whether you have been arrested, are the subject of an investigation, or have been asked to come in for “questioning,” it is highly likely that your future is in jeopardy. A drug trafficking or distribution conviction can bring years or even decades in prison, exorbitant fines, asset forfeiture, and the societal consequences of being a convicted felon. Take a proactive approach and involve a criminal defense team that will stop at nothing to protect you, your career, your assets, and your freedom.

There is simply no comparison to the level of legal representation provided by the New York drug trafficking lawyers at Barket Epstein. Call (888) 779-0267 for a free consultation.

What SEts Barket Epstein Apart?

A Remarkable Combination of
Knowledge & Experience
  • A Nationwide Influence

    Barket Epstein's attorneys are regularly featured in the media to discuss their recent cases or offer insight on current events.

  • Over Two Centuries of Combined Experience

    Barket Epstein has 13 attorneys who collectively bring over 200 years of experience to each case. Our team is comprised of former judges, former prosecutors, professors and true thought leaders in our fields. 

  • A Comprehensive Team Approach

    Given the experience and knowledge we have amongst the attorneys at our firm, we utilize a team approach. Each client benefits from the expertise of several attorneys, not just the one assigned to their case.

  • Thousands of Cases Handled

    Our Criminal Defense team has represented over 1,000 clients with charges ranging from DWI to homicide.

  • Three Convenient Office Locations

    Our firm offers clients three convenient locations in Garden City, Manhattan, and Huntington. 

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