In New York, a person may be charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree when they have previously been convicted of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. In addition to the prior conviction, the prosecution must show that you possessed the following:
There must also be evidence that the possession was under circumstances indicating that the item would be used to sell or manufacture drugs.
What type of evidence could be used by the prosecution?
To prove its case, the prosecution could use a variety of evidence. This may include:
The prosecution must be able to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution cannot prove each element at this standard, then you should be acquitted and the case dismissed.
What are the penalties for criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree?
Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree is a Class D felony which carries the potential for significant penalties. Because this crime is a felony, you face the potential for prison time of 2-7 years. There may also be significant financial penalties, probation, mandatory treatment, and community service.
A felony conviction has serious consequences for your criminal record. It could limit future employment opportunities and certain civil rights.
Because of the potential for serious consequences, it is important that you have representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Are there any defenses?
There may be defenses available to criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree, including:
1) The item was not possessed with the intent to use, sell or manufacture drugs: Many of the items listed on the statute have legitimate using. For example, you may possess an item to treat a medical issue. The mere presence of the item without evidence that it is being used in relation to illegal drugs is not enough to be convicted.
2) Evidence was obtained in violation of your rights: The United States Constitution protects certain individual rights. If the police or prosecution violated any of these rights during the investigation or court process, then you may have evidence excluded or the case dismissed. This includes the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, the requirement that police advise you of your rights before an interrogation, and the right to confront witnesses.
For example, if the police search your vehicle without a warrant or your consent, and there is no other justification (such as the odor of an illegal substance or visible paraphernalia), then the search may have been illegal. Thus, any evidence obtained from the search would be inadmissible in court.
Do you need an attorney?
Under the United States Constitution, person who are charged with a crime have the right to be represented by an attorney. It is not required to have an attorney, but you are better protected by having legal counsel. An attorney understands the law and how it applies to your situation.
An attorney can request the information related to your case from the prosecution through the discovery process. They can also obtain information and evidence through the use of subpoenas. An attorney will review the case to determine whether there are any defenses available. If there are defenses, then an attorney can file the necessary motions or take the required action to raise those defenses.
An attorney will strive to negotiate a result that is fair under the circumstances. If the prosecution is able to prove the elements of the case, then an attorney will strive to negotiate a plea agreement that minimizes the consequences as much as possible.
If you have been charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree, then contact our firm to schedule an appointment.
Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.
Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.
Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.
We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.
555 W 5th St 35th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013
35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106
85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004
195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201