Drug Crimes

New York City Drug Lawyer

Defending Against Drug Crimes in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island

A drug charge can change a person’s life in an instant. Drug charges can come from both the state of New York and the federal government. A conviction will trail a person around for a long time, impacting everything from their ability to find employment to finding a place to live. And, depending on the circumstances, convictions may result in lengthy jail sentences. Anyone facing charges has no time to lose in contacting a New York City drug lawyer to prepare a defense strategy.

Maryam Jahedi Law Firm P.C. has spent over a decade fighting for people across the five boroughs of New York City. Clients from Queens to the Bronx, from Staten Island to Brooklyn, to our home base of Manhattan, have found in us a listening ear, a meticulous legal mind, and a fighting spirit. 

Call today at (646) 798-7118 or contact us online to set up a consultation.

Types of New York Drug Offenses

The different drug crimes in New York can be broken down into three broad categories:

  • Possession of an illegal substance
  • Selling an illegal substance
  • Manufacturing an illegal substance

Possession charges may be further subdivided into actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means simply that the illegal substance was found either on the person or within reaching distance of the defendant. Constructive possession moves into a grayer area. This charge presumes knowledge of the drug and control over it, even if the drug is not on the defendant or within reaching distance.

Another facet of possession starts to segway into the next charge, which is possession with intent to sell. In this case, the police have not actually caught the defendant selling drugs. However, the authorities believe they have evidence–anything ranging from the quantity of the drug to witness testimony–that will prove the intent was to sell. Charges that involve the selling and trafficking of drugs will be treated more severely than possession.

Drug manufacturing is, as the name suggests, the production of drugs. Like with possession, even the intent to manufacture can be sufficient to secure a conviction–if the prosecutor can prove it. Drug manufacturing charges can also be brought against anyone who sold the chemicals and equipment necessary to do the production, although it must be proven that the person doing the selling knew–or at least could be reasonably expected to know–what the purpose of the purchase was.

What are the Penalties for Drug Crimes in New York?

There are several factors that will go into determining the potential sentence for a drug crime conviction under New York law. The crime itself will be one component. The type of illegal substance involved will play a significant role in the penalty.

New York classifies illegal drugs into four different schedules. Schedule I drugs are the most serious. These are substances where there is no accepted medical use and the potential for abuse and addiction is high. Heroin is a prime example of a Schedule 1 drug. On the other end of the spectrum is Schedule 4. These are drugs that might be legally prescribed by a doctor but are illegal otherwise. Schedule 2 & 3 substances fall in between, with the criteria continuing to be the possibility of valid medical use and the potential for abuse and addiction.

The combination of the drug crime itself and the type of substance involved leads to general guidelines for penalties. Further factors considered will be the quantity of the drug, the prior record of the defendant, the involvement of firearms, and whether other crimes were committed in the course of the drug offense.

Misdemeanor drug offenses can incur anything from a $500 fine to a year of prison time. Felony charges, even on the lowest Class E rung, open a defendant up to four years behind bars. Felonies gradually escalate to Class A, which can result in life imprisonment.

The wide range of legal sanctions makes the role of the defense lawyer even more important. Call Maryam Jahedi Law Firm P.C. today to speak with an experienced attorney who will fight for you. Our New York City office can be reached by phone at (646) 798-7118 or here online.

Defenses Against Drug Crimes

The legal defense begins before charges are even filed. The wide range of possible penalties allows room for negotiation with a prosecutor. If the quality of the prosecution’s evidence is strong, the New York City drug attorney might seek a lesser charge in exchange for a guilty plea (thus saving the state the expense of a trial). But if the evidence is weak or tainted, a vigorous defense aimed at complete acquittal may be launched.

Defense strategies in drug cases can revolve around a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. This protects everyone from having their property or their person searched without a warrant. Furthermore, the Fourth Amendment requires that authorities have probable cause to even obtain a search warrant. If evidence was obtained without a warrant, or a warrant was issued without probable cause, the evidence cannot be admitted in court. Given the importance of seized physical evidence in a drug case, inadmissible evidence can be fatal to the prosecution.

What defendants need most is a defense lawyer who pursues all of these legal avenues. The consequences of a drug conviction are serious. Therefore, the legal defense must be diligent and thorough.

When your freedom and reputation are on the line, reach out to Maryam Jahedi Law Firm P.C. We have over a decade of experience fighting for defendants. We understand drug crimes, what prosecutors have to prove, and we know how to make sure our clients get a fair shake from the system.

Call the New York City office of Maryam Jahedi Law Firm P.C. today at (646) 798-7118 or contact us online to set up a consultation.


  • by: Maryam Jahedi, Esq. You've Been Arrested: Now What? (A Real Life Legal Guide)
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