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How To Get Drug Possession Charges Dropped in New York


New York has strict regulations aimed at curbing drug-related crimes. If charged with a drug possession crime in New York, you risk facing harsh consequences. The severity of a drug possession crime in New York depends on several factors, including the type and quantity of drugs and your criminal history. That said, possible consequences for a drug possession charge in New York include fines, incarceration, and probation. If you are facing drug possession charges in New York, it is crucial that you hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Hiring a skilled defense lawyer reduces your risk of facing harsh penalties. In fact, depending on the specifics of your case, a defense lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed. If you are facing drug possession charges in New York, contact an attorney as soon as possible to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

Getting Drug Possession Charges Dropped

Criminal defense attorneys use several strategies to try and get drug possession charges dropped. The strategy an attorney uses is dependent on the specifics of the case. The following are some of the common defense strategies criminal defense attorneys use to try and get drug possession charges dismissed;

The Defendant Did Not “Possess” the Drug

In New York, for a prosecutor to pursue a drug possession case, you must have been either in actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance. You are in active possession of a drug if you have physical and direct control over it. If drugs are found on your person, such as in your pocket, that is considered actual possession. Constructive possession is when you don’t have direct physical control of a controlled substance, but you have the ability to control it. In other words, constructive possession arises when drugs are within your reach or control. If an attorney can show you did not have actual or constructive possession of a drug, your charges may be dismissed.

The Defendant’s Constitutional Rights Were Violated

A violation of your legal rights can result in your drug possession charges being dismissed. A violation of the following rights may result in a dismissal of drug possession charges;

  • Your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures
  • Your Miranda rights, including your right to remain silent and your right to legal counsel

The Defendant Was a Victim of Entrapment

Entrapment is when the police induce you to engage in a crime you would not have otherwise committed. An attorney can fight to get your drug possession charges dropped if you are a victim of entrapment.

The Defendant Is Willing To Enter a Pretrial Diversion Program

In New York, people facing minor charges and with no significant criminal history can enter pretrial diversion programs. A pretrial diversion program takes you out of the criminal justice system and into a form of supervised release or probation. Entering a pretrial diversion program can help you get a simple drug possession charge dropped. Charges are usually dropped upon successful completion of the program.

Contact an NYC Narcotics Crime Attorney

Our NYC Narcotics crime attorney, Mark I. Cohen, has years of experience representing individuals charged with drug possession. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

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"... Mr. Cohen's effort... in everything he has done before the Court, is A-Plus... [R]ecently, in another case... [before me], the result he achieved for his client... was quite impressive." Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"So I have very sophisticated counsel here and, Mr. Cohen, [your client] is very fortunate in having you as his attorney, and I hope he appreciates that." – Quote from the Honorable Denise L. Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"As Mark Cohen, a defense lawyer who has tried cases throughout the city and was a prosecutor in the Bronx, pointed out, there is a saying among defense lawyers in New York." – As provided in the New York Times City Room Blog.

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