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Drug Crimes

New York City Criminal Attorneys Can Assist with Your Drug Possession Charges

New York drug possession lawyers see more criminal cases involving a drug charge than almost any other criminal offense. In times of economic troubles, many people turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of dealing with the stress of job loss and financial insecurity. It is no secret that until the United States Government treats drug use and abuse like a health issue instead of a crime there will always be a need for a NYC drug lawyer who focuses on helping people avoid jail time for drug possession charges, drug distribution charges and/or other  drug-related offenses.

Our top ranked Federal drug lawyers are not only well-equipped to provide you with assistance through your possession of a controlled substance case, but you will also find that they are also willing to listen to what you are going through without judgment or recrimination. We understand that no one wakes up and decides to become a heroin or meth addict. The original decision to use drugs is a poor decision, but it is a mistake that is very difficult to pull yourself out of once you have begun. Our attorneys understand that we all make mistakes, we all have our own struggles, and they are available to assist clients in a way that is not judgmental, and is aimed at not just helping their  clients avoid conviction, but to also help them move toward recovery and rebuilding their lives.

Federal and New York Drug Laws

Federal and New York State drug possession laws make it a crime to knowingly own illegal drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD and heroin. The laws also criminalize the possession of “precursor chemicals” that are used in manufacturing.

Requirements to Prove Possession of Drugs

Possession of illicit drugs violates federal laws, and prosecutors are mandated to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew that the drug was a controlled substance, as well as having had control over the drug. This also can comprise what is called “constructive possession,” or access to a controlled substance.

Defense lawyers usually agree that laws regarding possession fall into one of two main categories:
1. Simple possession, for personal use, and
2. Possession with intent to distribute.

Possession with intent to distribute carries a much stiffer penalty on conviction. To prove possession with the intention to sell, prosecutors might argue with the case of your attorney and present evidence such as digital scales, baggies, large quantities of the drug as well as testimony from witnesses.

Penalties for Drug Possession and Distribution

Individuals convicted on charges of controlled substance possession are looking at a wide range of penalties during the sentencing phase of their trial. Penalties for simple possession go from a fine of less than $100 and possibly a few days in jail to hundreds of thousands of dollars and years in state prison. Simple drug possession sentence carries the lightest punishment, while intent to distribute or the manufacturing brings heavier penalties. Prosecutors often  offer plea bargains to defendants who may be able to assist in a higher-priority investigation, maybe leading to the arrest of an organized crime leader.

In 1986, federal legislators instituted mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for drug offenses. They attempted to target high-level distributors and the law impacted lower-level defendants. The fixed sentences were based on the type of drug, the quantity, or weight, involved and consideration of any prior convictions.

New York classifies all convictions for distribution of controlled substances as felonies. The convictions range from fifth-degree, punishable by 1 to 2.5 years in state prison for a first-time offender to first-degree, liable to a minimum of 8 to 20 years in jail.

Second offenders are looking at 12 to 20 years in prison, and major traffickers are looking at a maximum term of life imprisonment.

Fines imposed usually range from a minimum of $5,000 to $100,000 for individuals convicted of either first-degree sale or operating as an important drug trafficker.

New York drug laws are intricate and require thorough, intensive legal research. Contacting an experience drug crimes lawyer from Bukh Law Firm is your best, first course of action. They can help you understand where you fall under the statutes.

Drug Crimes Defenses (Federal vs. NYS)

Possible cases that can be utilized by an experienced attorney include:

1. Lack of intent
2. Lack of knowledge
3. Possession for personal use
4. Entrapment
5. Infancy (only for individuals under 16 years of age)

Drug Distribution and Sale

In 1973, New York State passed the toughest drug laws in the nation. The consequence for selling two ounces or more of heroin, morphine, opium cocaine or marijuana was a minimum of 15 years in prison. Mere possession of more than four ounces of the same drugs brought a 15 to 25 prison stretch. In 2009, clearer heads prevailed, and the mandatory minimum sentences were eliminated.

With this legislative history, New York’s laws are complex and convoluted. At least six different classes of felonies are laid out for possession alone. For these reasons, it’s imperative to consult with a criminal attorney from Bukh Law Firm if you are charged with a drug offense.

New York typically treats the sale of drugs as a more serious offense than only possessing them. There are currently five degrees of sale of a controlled substance. The kind of substance sold, the quantity of the substance, its purity and former convictions are all matters that are taken into consideration when sentencing occurs.

Drug Crime Sentences

NYC Drug Defense Lawyer
A defendant convicted of a class A1 felony, control of eight or more ounces of substances containing a narcotic drug or 5,760 of methadone is facing the possibility of 8 to 20 years in state penitentiary and a maximum penalty of $100,000.

Sentences of class B to E felonies vary from sentences with a minimum of one year to 9 years and fines ranging from $15,00 to $50,000 involving B and C level crime.

Illegal possession of marijuana is a violation and may be sentenced to imprison of no more than 15 days or a fine less than $250.00.

Legislative reform over the last decade has taken much of the bite out of the draconian laws put into place by the Nelson Rockefeller administration in the State of New York. The modifications also introduced a judicial diversion program where an eligible defendant, someone charged with a class B to class E felony, may earn a substantial reduction in, or even discharge of, the charges by finishing a drug management program.

New York State laws are in a constant state of flux. Be sure to contact Bukh Law Firm to verify the state legislation and how an arrest for possession may affect you.


Criminal sale of controlled substance 1st – 5th degree

Criminal Sale of controlled substance charges are measured in four steps depending on the kind of substance, site it was revealed, the amount it is discovered in and the amount of times the offender has been indicted, penalized and disciplined for violation of laws under the same article).

Selling of:

  • tranquillizer preparation
  • sedatives (and its variations)
  • phencyclidine
  • methadone
  • ketamine
  • stimulant and lysergic

Illegal ownership of precursors

Precursors are compounds manufactured primarily for the purpose of producing a controlled substance. This means having the elements to make certain medicines can be a crime in itself, under New York law. For instance, Acetic anhydride, which used in the production of cellulose acetate, colorings, flavorings or medicines (aspirin), is also an essential component of heroin production.

New York Penalties for Marijuana Offenses


Owning fewer than 2 ounces of cannabis in a non-public abode is classified as illegal possession, a violation which carries a fine up to $100. A second offense might be punished by a fine up to $200. A third offense punishable by a fine up to $250 and 15 days in jail.
An arrest for ownership of less than 2 ounces of marijuana in a community place is classified as criminal ownership of marijuana in the 5th degree, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by 3 months in prison. Still, it is highly recommended to retain a private defense lawyer to handle your case, as convictions can lead to such consequences, as loss of a job or certain privileges.

Differences Between State and Federal Laws

The wide-ranging list of scenarios and potential punishments for each illicit substance are beyond the scope of this page. The problem is compounded by the ever changing legal landscape in New York State. If we look at marijuana, that will provide an idea of the spectrum of consequences a convicted person may be facing

Federal Penalties for Marijuana Crimes

A first conviction brings a sentence of up to 1 year in jail.
A 2nd conviction can bring 15 days to two years in jail and a fine at least $2,500.
A 3rd conviction is punishable by 90 days in prison and a maximum period of 3 years.

New York State Penalties (Fines, Sentences) for Marijuana Related Offenses

Holding less than 2 ounces of pot in a non-public place is carries a $100 fine. A 2nd offense, a fine of up to $200. A 3rd offense may be punishable by a $250 fine and 15 days in jail. An apprehension for ownership of less than 2 ounces of pot in a public place punishable by 90 days.

Top Rated Criminal Lawyer

Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC


Drug Trafficking

Ever since people used drugs, there has been drug trafficking. Drug smugglers have continued to increase the creativity with which they try to outwit law enforcement. Police, meanwhile, have to try to keep ahead. Billions of dollars are spent as a result of an attempt to combat trafficking, and the smugglers get smarter. A Drug Enforcement Agency report in 2012 said the agency estimates it can stop 50 percent of the drugs coming into America.

With the volume of drugs heading north into America and the amount of money heading south, even a drug interception rate of 50 percent still leaves a lot of drugs on the streets. US legal authorities are taking a two-prong approach in combating drug trafficking and enforcement.

If you are unfairly accused of smuggling, call our drug trafficking lawyers at (800) 601-0207.

Arrested in NYC on drug charges?

Manhattan Drug Possession Attorney If you are facing a drug charge in NY, such as a cocaine charge or any other type of Federal possession of a controlled substance call us today @ (800) 601-0207. Our New York City drug defense lawyers believe that addicts and substance abusers need help and treatment, not punishment! We work diligently to find a solution through the courts that does not require jail time for you. If you or a family member is struggling with addiction and is in trouble with the law, please call us to discuss your options. Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC is of the top ranked criminal defense attorneys in New York, often praised for being capable legal advocates, but also compassionate and non-judgmental listeners.


Our strong New York Possession Attorneys and drug trafficking lawyers are experts at what they do

If you have an attorney already, make sure you ask about their track record. Find out how many successful dispositions they’ve received this year in your jurisdiction for controlled substance charges. What you find out might be surprising. And if you’re disappointed in their answer, call us. Remember that you always have the right to hire a new attorney for your case.

Remember that Riker’s Island is filled with non-violent drug offenders. Ask yourself how they got there. You don’t want a dentist to deliver your baby or a gynecologist to perform your heart surgery, so you don’t want a former real estate attorney handling your possession of a controlled substance charge in NY Supreme Court. Get an experienced, competent attorney on your team as soon as possible, to maximize your chances of successfully beating your drug charges.


If you are in trouble with the law over a drug charge call or visit our offices today!

What Can a NYC Drug Charges Attorney Do For You?

Federal Drug Lawyer Over the many years of representing clients in the New York City area we have handled the cases of many individuals charged with narcotics charges and/or drug related offenses and have come to understand that good people fall into bad times and then bad situations. Sometimes people break the law because they wanted to provide a better life for their families. When you are a New York defense attorney you hear these stories. You begin to understand the forces that shape an individual’s decision making, and you better understand why and how someone could end up in the backseat of a cop car, and you want to help.

If you are looking at Federal level cocaine charges or heroin possession that also as related charges of “intent to distribute” or possibly other related offenses that elevate your drug crimes to the level of federal rather than local attention you need to hire experienced  NY drug trafficking lawyers. Courts are sometimes willing to overlook a possession of a controlled substance – even cocaine charges if the amounts imply a “personal use” and if it is your first offense. If your case involves not only a simple possession charge but also with intent to distribute the courts are looking to put you away for a long time. Your Manhattan drug crimes attorneys will need to mount an aggressive offense to suppress evidence, as well as paint you as a human being with a story that is worth listening to.


Those who have been arrested with large quantities of narcotics are without a doubt seen automatically as villains, as opposed to those, who have personal use levels. These individuals need an emotional marijuana defense or for their drug offense lawyer to suggest rehab or other inpatient program that will satisfy the courts that the person is taking the controlled substance possession charge seriously. Our New York City drug crime defense attorneys are able to do this time and time again from Manhattan to Nashua county—yes, even Nashua county.


Experienced New York Drug Offense Attorneys at Your Side All the Way!

The drug crimes lawyers at Bukh Law Firm are there for you when you’ve been arrested on drug charges. We will aggressively defend you throughout all stages of the criminal process. We conduct thorough investigations of your case even before it gets to “pre-trial” stages. We are there through:



Federal crimes such as those involving drug trafficking have high conviction rates. Without a dedicated, experienced NYC narcotics lawyers on your side you could very well be looking at a great deal of jail time for your drug-related offense. We work aggressively to suppress evidence, create plea bargains or find grounds for dismissal. We don’t rest until we have exhausted all means of mitigating, lowering, or dismissing the charges against you. When you are seeking out lawyers for drug charges look to us!

That’s our promise to you. Call us today 800-601-0207 to see how New York’s top rated criminal firm can help your case. We are available 24/7.

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