Dedicated Rochester Attorney Handles Drug Charges
Professional and compassionate representation focused on positive outcomes
A conviction of a drug crime can tear apart your life, your family and your career. Authorities in New York State and the federal government aggressively prosecute drug charges, seeking the maximum penalty whenever possible. Fortunately, you have an ally with the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. We work tirelessly to protect your rights and mitigate the damage done by your arrest. We have helped many defendants resolve their cases without jail time, through an acquittal, a decline to prosecute, a diversion program or probation. Even when the facts are against you, we are committed to pursuing a positive outcome by fighting overcharging and harsh sentencing.
Common drug charges in the Rochester, NY area
Throughout the Rochester area, we defend clients accused of violating state and federal drug laws. Drug crimes that we regularly manage include:
- Drug possession — This refers to simple possession of small amounts of controlled substances for personal use rather than sale to another.
- Driving under the influence of drugs — In New York, a charge of DWI involving drugs or DWAI involving drugs can result in fines, jail time and a license revocation.
- Drug trafficking — Possession of a controlled substance in sufficient volume can trigger a charge of distributing or trafficking. This charge can be made under state or federal law.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia — Having instruments commonly used in the consumption of drugs, tainted with a controlled substance, can bring this charge.
- Possession with the intent to sell — Having more of a controlled substance than is necessary for personal consumption creates the presumption that the possessor was intending to sell the drugs.
Penalties for drug crimes depend on many factors, such as the type of drug, the amount and any prior convictions for drug crimes. Proximity to a school, involvement of minors and possession of a weapon are also factors that can aggravate the offense.
Factors proving drug possession in New York
To convict for drug possession, the authorities must prove all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The substance was a controlled substance — Under New York’s Penal Law § 220.00, this means “any substance listed in schedule I, II, III, IV or V of section thirty-three hundred six of the public health law other than marihuana, but including concentrated cannabis.”
- The defendant possessed the substance — § 10.00 defines being in possession this way: “to have physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property.”
- The possession was knowing — It is not considered possession of a drug if the defendant was unaware of having it.
- The possession was unlawful — There are legal uses for some controlled substances, and possession is allowed with a prescription or a license.
Based on these elements, defenses to a possession charge do exist. For example, drugs stashed on your person or in your car by someone else without your knowledge do not constitute knowing possession. However, the presence of the drugs does create a presumption of knowledge, so the burden shifts to you to present evidence proving you didn’t know the drugs were there.
Depending on the facts of the case, there may also be procedural maneuvers a skilled attorney can try to get drug evidence suppressed. If you were the victim of an unlawful traffic stop or search, a judge could rule that the drugs are inadmissible in court.
To get the benefit of any criminal defense strategy, however, you must have experienced representation from an attorney who is committed to delivering the best outcome possible. That’s exactly what you get with the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C.
Contact a dedicated criminal defense lawyer to fight drug charges in Rochester
If you have been arrested on drug charges in the Rochester area, trust the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. to work tirelessly for a favorable outcome to your case. Mention our website when you call us at 585-563-1134 or when you contact us online and receive a free 30-minute initial consultation.