CONSPIRACY DRUG CHARGES:
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Nov. 30, 2020
Conspiracy drug charges can be very complex. You don’t have to actually handle drugs or exchange money to be charged. You don’t have to be “caught in the act.” You don’t even need to have actually executed a reported plan to manufacture, sell, or distribute drugs. You can also be charged for drug amounts others handled, even if you did not.
In short, conspiracy charges can be filed against you before any actual crime was committed. Moreover, conspiracy drug charges are typically federal offenses that can carry severe penalties. These are charges you should not face without an experienced conspiracy drug defense attorney. If you do, you could be gambling with your future.
At Melanson Law Office, I use my experience as a former prosecutor in my defense of clients charged with drug conspiracy offenses. I understand the nuances of the law and I am familiar with the tactics that the prosecution will try to use against you. Let me help you build a strong defense. If you have been charged with one, call my office today. I represent clients in Kingston, New York and throughout the Hudson Valley.
Conspiracy Drug Charges in New York
A conspiracy drug charge is an agreement between two or more people to violate a drug law. The actual violation does not need to occur in order to be charged with the crime.
For example, your phone could be tapped. If you and someone on the other end of the line talk about a way to distribute drugs in violation of the law, you could be charged with drug conspiracy.
Penalties for most drug charges are more severe when greater drug quantities are involved. In a drug conspiracy, you could be charged for quantities above and beyond what you agreed to handle.
For example, you drive a car with your significant other while they distribute drugs. However, unknown to you, your significant other is carrying more than 500 grams in your vehicle. You could pay the much more severe penalty for distribution of drugs in excess of 500 grams. The amount of drugs involved often determines the penalty.
Evidence of Intent
Prosecutors of drug conspiracy charges must produce evidence of intent. That is, they must prove that you agreed to break the law.
For example, your friend asks you to drive him somewhere to pick up a package. When your friend picks up the package, both of you are arrested on drug charges. You didn’t know what was in the package. You merely agreed to give your friend a ride. The prosecution would have to prove that you knew you were transporting drugs and you agreed to help.
Evidence of intent is typically provided by things such as witness testimony, wiretap recordings, and video surveillance. Even when that evidence is circumstantial, it can often be used to prove intent.
Possible Penalties for Conspiracy Drug Crimes
Federal penalties are based on the type and amounts of drugs involved. They are also based on whether or not you have been convicted for previous drug-related offenses.
Prison sentences range from mandatory minimums of five to 10 years to maximum sentences of 40 years for heroin. For methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack cocaine, those penalties could rise as high as a life sentence. Penalties for opioids and GHB carry maximum prison sentences of 20 years.
Hiring the Right Attorney
Whether you agreed to break the law or you were an unwitting participant, you need an experienced and relentless drug defense attorney to represent you. The price you may pay is simply too high.
An aggressive defense attorney can challenge the prosecution’s case on many levels, from failure to provide evidence of intent, to unlawful searches or wiretaps, to entrapment, and more.
At Melanson Law Office, I started my career on the other side of the courtroom as a prosecuting attorney. I investigated and prosecuted everything from misdemeanors to organized crime at the local, state, and federal levels. Now, I put that knowledge to work in the criminal defense of my clients.
Work with a Skilled Drug Defense Attorney in Kingston, New York
The Melanson Law Office has the experience and resources you need to defend your charges. The stakes are too high to gamble on what might happen without a relentless advocate on your side. I represent clients in Kingston, New York and surrounding communities including Albany, Hudson, Catskill, Highland, Poughkeepsie, Saugerties, and New Paltz. Contact me today for a consultation.