An arrest for any type of drug offense places your future at risk, as you face serious criminal penalties which could negatively affect your personal and professional life. You deserve to have an experienced White Plains criminal defense lawyer standing by you as the case progresses and looking out for your best interests. I am Attorney John M. Cromwell, and since 1988 I have represented thousands of individuals in your position, helping them pursue an acquittal or a reduction or dismissal of the charges. I am a good listener, and I understand what a difficult experience this may be for you. Call me today for a consultation in English or Spanish, to discuss your defense options and to learn more about your rights.
Do not make the mistake of speaking with police officers, investigators or anyone else about your charges without having me present to advise you. The criminal justice system is adversarial, and the police are not your friends. They are investigating you because they believe you committed the crime. They will only ask you questions that are designed to build the evidence against you, and there is practically nothing you can say which will persuade them to drop the investigation-their job is to convict solve crimes and convict people.
Drug Use and Crime in the United States
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), drugs and crime are often related. In 2004, 17% of inmates in federal prisons said that they were arrested and convicted for crimes that they committed to obtain money for drugs. Further, the number of drug-related arrests in the United States has increased steadily over the past several decades. In 1980, 580,900 people were arrested for drug-related criminal activity. In 2007, 1,841,200 people were arrested for similar crimes. According to BJS, the vast majority of drug-related arrests involve drug possession and a significantly smaller portion of arrests involved sales or drug manufacturing. In 1980, 137,900 people were arrested for sales or manufacturing while 530,100 people were arrested for drug possession. In 2007, 322,200 drug manufacturing/sales arrests occurred while 1,519,000 drug possession arrests occurred. The calculations are approximate and have been rounded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Types of Drug Crimes
The term "drug crime" refers to a multitude of criminal offenses. Although drug possession is one of the most common drug-related offenses, other types of criminal activity include delivery, manufacturing, conspiracy, and paraphernalia. Marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine are some of the most common drugs associated with drug crime arrests. Generally speaking, drug possession involves actually carrying or possession a controlled substance. For instance, if you are found with marijuana on your person, you may be arrested and charged with drug possession.
You may also be charged with drug possession if marijuana or another illegal substance is found in the trunk or glove box of your car. Additionally, it is illegal to transport and deliver illegal drugs. Under federal law, possession with the intent to deliver is one of the most common deliver offenses. If police discover a large quantity of marijuana in the trunk of your car, you may be charged with the intent to deliver instead of simple possession. The quantity of illegal drugs may have a significant bearing on the actual charge that you face.
Drug Crimes and Penalties
The penalty you face for a drug offense will vary according to a variety of factors, including your prior criminal record, the quantity of drugs that were involved, and the type of drug. For example, a first time offense possession of marijuana is an infraction with a $100 fine, while a third offense is a
misdemeanor. If you are caught with larger amounts of drugs such as cocaine, heroin or ecstasy, you may be charged with
felony possession with intent to distribute or trafficking, sent to prison and fined thousands of dollars. I can advise you of the specific penalty in your case and the best possible defenses, such as demonstrating that your rights were violated.