Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ithaca Cortland Lawyer Can You Be Charged based Upon Drug Resin? Is that Possible?


I recently defended some drug cases involving mushrooms (not portobellos or criminis), and a host of other "fun" drugs. Rock/Music Concerts like the Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, New York bring people from far and wide to enjoy the festivities. Unfortunately, this is probably not the best place to bring your drugs. The police know from prior events that those attending like to distort reality through chemistry. Law enforcement is present through and around all aspects of the multi-day event. Cars get stopped, people get searched, and arrests take place. What should be a weekend of fun turns into something unwanted when laws get broken.

One of my cases had such a small amount of drugs that the police had to scrape it from the paraphernalia and containers. The folks arrested looked on incredulously as the police "gathered" the evidence against them. They got charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (a criminal misdemeanor).

Yes Virginia, there are a great many things legal that make no sense (common) that is. I still don't understand that Arizona has speeding tickets that are classified as criminal offenses but also lax gun laws or that Canada thinks almost everything (we classify as a violation) is an indictable and criminal offense (in Canada).

So I live and practice in the Great State of New York. We have some draconian drug laws. The Rockefeller laws of 1973 still reverberate throughout our Court rooms. Now when you think DRACO think small offenses with big/harsh punishments. Remember that these drug laws have been around for a long time and we must abide by them.

New York Penal Law 
Section 220.03 Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a controlled substance in
the seventh degree when he or she knowingly and unlawfully  possesses  a
controlled  substance;  provided,  however,  that  it  shall  not  be  a
violation of this section when a person possesses a residual amount of a
controlled substance and that residual amount is in or on  a  hypodermic
syringe  or hypodermic needle obtained and possessed pursuant to section
thirty-three hundred eighty-one of the public health law; nor  shall  it
be  a violation of this section when a person's unlawful possession of a
controlled substance is discovered as  a  result  of  seeking  immediate
health  care as defined in paragraph (b) of subdivision three of section
220.78 of the penal law, for either another person  or  him  or  herself
because  such person is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other
life threatening medical  emergency  as  defined  in  paragraph  (a)  of
subdivision three of section 220.78 of the penal law.
  Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree is a
 class A misdemeanor (a crime). Punishable by up to one year of jail, three years of probation supervision, etc. etc.

Can you be held (arrested), tried, and convicted for RESIN (a residual amount) of a 
drug/substance in New York State?

Yes, in the case of People v. Mizell, 72 N.Y.2d 651 (1988) a small and unusable 
amount of cocaine was held by the highest New York State Court to be Enuff for 
a drug conviction.

Reviews of Larry Newman:
An "Unusable" amount of a drug is enough to uphold a conviction under New York State Penal Law 220.03.

Often first time drug offenses can be defended and negotiated with the 
District Attorney.

Sometimes it is necessary to have a drug/alcohol assessment, undergo counseling,
and/or a combination of things. Depending upon weight, and a host of other 
factors, remember cases must be evaluated completely for the best outcomes.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.
504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850