Answers To Some Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Questions
It is understandable to have questions when facing criminal charges. Below are answers to some common questions attorneys receive. After reading through the list, feel free to contact us with your own questions.
What should I do if I’ve been charged with a drug offense in New York?
While nonviolent drug crimes carry less social stigma than they used to, drug charges are still very consequential in the criminal justice system. Depending on the type of drug, quantity and specific alleged offense (possession, distribution, etc.), you could be facing sentences that range from fines to serious jail time.
For this reason and many others, your first action should be to avoid giving the police anything they can use against you. This means politely refusing to answer questions or consent to a voluntary search. After arrest, please contact a good criminal defense attorney as soon as reasonably possible. Your attorney may be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed. If not, he can begin working on the strongest available defense.
Can you legally own marijuana in New York?
The answer to this question is complicated. The state has started to decriminalize marijuana possession, but that’s not the same thing as legalization. Possession of small amounts has been downgraded from a crime to a civil violation, but it is not consequence-free. Possessing 1 ounce or less can result in a fine of up to $50. Between 1 and 2 ounces is a fine of up to $200. Anything higher than 2 ounces for personal use is considered a crime.
What is the Commerce Clause?
The Commerce Clause allows the U.S. Congress to regulate interstate commerce. For purposes of criminal law enforcement, this means that if a crime such as a kidnapping, drug distribution, murder or sex trafficking crosses state lines, it can be prosecuted as a federal crime rather than a state crime. Offenses prosecuted in federal court tend to carry harsher sentences, and the federal government has significantly more resources to fund and conduct prosecutions.
What should I do if I violate my parole?
Violating parole can seriously impact your future and put you back in jail. However, there are reasonable defenses for a parole violation. Some of these defenses include:
- Insufficient evidence to prove that you violated your parole
- Failure to report to your parole officer due to reasons outside your control (unexpected hospitalization, stolen phone, etc.)
- Failure of a drug test due to testing error or the presence of a valid prescription drug
- Violation of a no-contact order because the alleged victim actually initiated contact with the parolee
Most importantly, if you violated parole, work with your attorney immediately so they can prevent or decrease new charges against you.
Schedule Your Consultation With Us Today
The attorneys at Frost & Kavanaugh have a half-century of combined legal experience. As such, we can likely answer any questions you may have about your case. To get started, call us in Troy, New York, at 518-629-0230. You can also reach us online.