Unlike small drug offenses, a federal drug charge can mean extensive cooperation with court systems, costly fees and even months and years behind bars. As jarring as a drug charge may be, these types of offenses happen to average, working professionals across New York. Because one case can be entirely different from the next, the repercussions that follow can vary, as well.
Facing a federal drug charge can certainly be daunting. Findlaw outlines New York’s drug laws, particularly those concerning distribution, manufacturing and trafficking. Often a difficult fact to discover, New York has some of the most severe penalties when it comes to the country’s drug laws. One reason for this strictness is that the state considers all compounds that make up the drugs — as well as the drugs themselves — when considering penalties. As Findlaw shares, there are five different categories that can apply to the distribution of a controlled substance; a defendant only needs to make an offer to receive penalties for this offense. Penalties can range anywhere from one year to 20 or more years in prison, with fees between $5,000 and $100,000.
It can be difficult to understand why the state’s penalties are so severe, but as the United States Sentencing Commission relays, there are three mandatory minimum penalties for federal drug trafficking offenses. Mandatory penalties depend on the quantity and type of drug, and individuals with previous drug offenses could face even more serious repercussions. Higher penalties can also apply if the arrest involved death or injury from the use of the controlled substance. As for statutory relief provisions and other aspects of federal drug offenses, the Commission states that varying guidelines could apply.