Drug Crimes


Defending residents of NYC since 1994

Many have speculated that the so-called War on Drugs is over, or at least coming to an end. But if you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, you may feel differently. New York poses strict penalties against anyone who violates the state’s drug laws. Additionally, if you are charged with a federal drug crime, you could lose your freedom for a very long time. Experienced and highly qualified, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Tacopina, Seigel & DeOreo proudly defend New Yorkers accused of drug crimes. Over the years, the firm’s reputable lawyers have helped countless clients avoid incarceration.

Federal drug crimes lawyers in NYC protect your rights

Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), individuals who commit drug crimes may be prosecuted at the federal level. Federal drug crimes carry more severe punishments and penalties than state-level drug offenses. If you are arrested for any of the crimes below, retain a federal defense lawyer as soon as possible:

  • Drug conspiracy
  • Manufacturing
  • Trafficking
  • Drug crimes in protected locations

Pleading requirements for drug crimes

Federal drug crimes are generally violations of the CSA, also known as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA places various controlled substances into individual categories known as schedules. The most dangerous drugs generally fall into schedule I and the least dangerous drugs fall into schedule V. Violations of the CSA are prosecuted by federal prosecutors in federal court. Depending on the crime you have been charged with, the federal prosecutor is required to plead and prove any of a variety of individual elements.

New York state drug crimes run the gambit from low-level misdemeanors to serious class A-1 felonies. State drug crimes are tried by a state prosecutor in New York state court. In some instances, a defendant may be charged with violations of both state and federal drug crimes. It is especially important in these cases to retain NYC drug crime attorneys who can represent you at both levels and may even be able to convince either the state or federal prosecutor to allow the matter to proceed in only one jurisdiction.

Drug Manufacturing

Skilled Manhattan lawyers represent clients accused of Schedule I production

Law enforcement in New York often seeks harsh punishments for individuals accused of producing or growing illicit substances, such as marijuana and methamphetamine, even when the drugs are intended for personal use. At Tacopina Seigel & DeOreo, our criminal defense attorneys develop thorough and powerful defenses to drug manufacturing charges. Based in New York City, we seek favorable outcomes on behalf of defendants in courts throughout New York.

Respected lawyers explain New York controlled substance creation laws

With few exceptions, it is a crime to grow marijuana in New York. The more plants a person cultivates without permission, the harsher the penalties he or she may face. It is also against the law to create methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy and other controlled substances.

Police do not need to catch you making drugs in order to charge you with drug manufacturing. It is enough that you possess materials that could be used to produce a controlled substance. In some cases, the prosecution may be required to show that you also possessed laboratory equipment in addition to drug precursors, chemical reagents or solvents.

Being caught with manufacturing materials does not mean you are destined to be convicted. The seasoned drug crimes attorneys fight the legitimacy of charges that result from unlawful searches or seizures and work to exonerate clients who were wrongfully accused.

Strategic trial attorneys handle all types of New York drug cases

At both the state and federal level, every type of controlled substance is classified into one of five tiers. Schedule I drugs are considered to have the highest potential for abuse and no recognized medical purpose, while Schedule V drugs are deemed to have a valid medical purpose and the least potential for abuse. Examples of drugs that fall into each schedule include:

·       Schedule I:

Marijuana, heroin, LSD, MDMA, GHB, psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”)

·       Schedule II:

Methamphetamine, morphine, oxycodone, amphetamine (such as Adderall)

·       Schedule III:

Ketamine, lysergic acid, secobarbital, zolazepam

·       Schedule IV:

Barbital, diazepam (such as Valium), flunitrazepam (roofies)

·       Schedule V:

Certain cough medicines containing codeine, ezogabine

Generally, punishments for manufacturing a Schedule I substance are the most severe, with lesser penalties prescribed for each subsequent class of drug. Our accomplished criminal law attorneys passionately defend clients facing all varieties of New York drug manufacturing charges.

Adamant defense attorneys pursue minimal penalties for drug manufacturing

Two common drug manufacturing charges are the class E felony of “criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances” and the class D felony of “unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree.” Penalties for either charge can vary widely, with some convictions resulting in years-long prison sentences and others punished by probation without jail time. If a defendant has a record of previous offenses, the crime will be considered more serious. Our firm has successfully achieved dismissals of felony drug charges and have negotiated felonies down to misdemeanors. As your legal team, we will work tirelessly in pursuit of the best possible resolution.

Drug Trafficking

Respected New York City law firm represents defendants in high-profile drug trafficking busts

Our team of criminal defense attorneys provide solid representation for individuals charged with drug trafficking. In New York, this crime can encompass a number of separate offenses, including producing, selling and distributing controlled substances. Each offense comes with its own penalties under New York’s sentencing guidelines, and even a less serious felony charge can bring a years-long prison sentence. When law enforcement comes for you, our firm is in your corner.

In New York, the crime of operating as a major trafficker is a class A-1 felony, requiring a minimum prison term of 15 to 25 years and a maximum term of life in prison. To be considered a major drug trafficker, a person must have done one of the following:

  • Directed a controlled substance ring that sold controlled substances with proceeds totaling at least $75,000 over the span of a year or less
  • Sold one or more narcotic drug knowingly in a period of six months or less for proceeds (collected or due) of at least $75,000
  • Knowingly and unlawfully possessed and intended to sell one or more narcotic drug with the total worth of the substances being $75,000 or more over a period of six months or less

Cocaine, heroin, opiates, crack, marijuana, LSD and methamphetamine are some of the drugs commonly confiscated in New York trafficking investigations.

Laws against racketeering — known in New York as “enterprise corruption” — are used to prosecute alleged members of gangs and other organizations that engage in drug trafficking.

Our experienced criminal law attorneys raise staunch defenses for clients charged with trafficking offenses and other drug crimes, asserting all procedural rights and protections afforded by New York law and the state and federal constitutions.

Tenacious lawyers seek minimum penalties for controlled substance offenses

In New York State, any charge for criminal sale of a controlled substance is a felony. There are five degrees of this offense:

·       First degree:

Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degrees is knowingly and unlawfully selling at least two ounces or more of a narcotic or at least 2.88 grams of methadone. A non-major drug trafficker found guilty of this crime will be sentenced to a minimum of eight to 20 years in prison.

·       Second degree:

This level of crime can be charged for the sale of at least .5 ounces of any narcotic, methamphetamine, stimulant, LSD or hallucinogen, or at least 360 milligrams of methadone. Punishments include a minimum prison sentence of three to eight years.

·       Third degree:

This offense comprises the knowing and unlawful sale of any narcotic; at least one gram of a stimulant, hallucinogenic or LSD; at least 25 milligrams of a hallucinogen; or at least an eighth ounce of methadone. The minimum prison sentence for a first offender is five years.

·       Fourth degree: 

This is the knowing and unlawful sale of any narcotic preparation, or certain specified amounts of a depressant, dangerous depressant, concentrated cannabis, phencyclidine, methadone, ketamine or GHB. It also includes the sale of a controlled substance on the grounds of a school, daycare or educational facility.

·       Fifth degree:

The knowing and unlawful sale of any amount of a controlled substance can result in this charge. The maximum prison sentence is 17 years.

Trusted counsel for NY drug crime charges

If you are charged with a drug crime in New York, do not delay in seeking experienced counsel. Let the Law Offices of Tacopina, Seigel & DeOreo help you build a solid defense. Call today at 212-227-8877 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a highly qualified attorney at the firm.