Understanding Drug Laws

In an attempt to combat the rise of addiction in New York, the state prosecutes drug charges heavily. Even for the most minor charges, a person may face jail time and heavy fines. There are different charges and penalties a person may face in Albany.


More serious are accusations that a person intended to distribute drugs. It is rare for the police to catch someone in the act of selling. Instead, prosecutors rely on circumstantial evidence obtained using a search warrant. This evidence can include:

  • Drugs allotted into individual packages
  • The presence of large amounts of cash
  • Scales
  • Ledgers or computers with customer lists

Any allegation of drug possession with intent to sell is a felony charge. For possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, a person faces up to seven years in prison. However, if they are charged with intent to sell a narcotic, they face up to twenty-five years.

The Sale of Drugs

The most serious allegations involve the sale of drugs. Knowingly selling any amount of a drug is considered a class D felony and is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

New York Penal Code §220.43 makes the sale of any substance or compound containing a narcotic weighing more than two ounces a class A-I felony. The charge is the same for anyone selling more than two ounces, and can result in up to thirty years in prison.


In its simplest form, New York Penal Code §220.03 states that it is illegal for any person to possess any illegal substance of any kind. The only exception to this is small amounts of marijuana. A violation of this law is a class A misdemeanor which means that a conviction could result in up to one year in jail.

How Our Albany Drug Attorneys Can Help

Allegations of illegal drug possession range in severity from simple misdemeanors to serious felonies. Depending upon the type and amount of drug, a person may face anything from probation to life in prison. With the stakes being high, it is vital anyone facing these charges obtain experienced representation that will look out for their best interests.

The dedicated Albany drug attorneys at Tully Rinckey can provide this help. Our lawyers can examine every aspect of the State’s case ranging from the use of confidential informants, to the legality of search warrants, to the truthfulness of any witnesses to create reasonable doubt in the minds of jury members. All of this can combine to give you a better chance of a positive outcome.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation at 888-529-4543. You can also e-mail us at info@tullylegal.com.

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