How Long Can I Go to Jail for Selling Drugs in New York?

standing behind bars

The State of New York has long been known for having some of the toughest drug laws, and harshest penalties for breaking those laws, in the country. If you are charged and convicted of selling drugs in New York you are likely looking at the possibility of a lengthy prison term. Because of the numerous factors that can affect the possible sentence for trafficking it is imperative that you consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney to determine how much time you face if you have been charged with the sale of a controlled substance.

In New York, drug laws are first divided between those that involve possession and those that involve the sale of a controlled substance. As a general rule, offenses that involve possession of a controlled substance carry less jail time if convicted than do offenses involving the sale of a controlled substance. In addition, sales offenses are further divided by degree with a fifth degree offense carrying the least penalties and a first degree the most. The degree of the offense determines the level of felony with which a defendant is charged. That, in turn, determines the potential penalties. For example, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the fifth degree is a Class D felony. Absent aggravating circumstances, a Class D felony carries a possible term of imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than seven years. At the other end of the spectrum, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the first degree is a Class A-1 felony which carries a term of incarceration of 15 to 25 years absent aggravating circumstances. The sentencing range and penalties vary based upon a number of important facts. Regardless, in any drug sale arrest,  the consequences are all serious.

A variety of factors and circumstances, however, can influence the charges filed for trafficking as well as the potential penalties if convicted, including:

  • The type of controlled substance
  • The quantity involved
  • Purity of the substance
  • Whether or not weapons were involved
  • If the sale took place on, or near, a school or other specified areas
  • Defendant's previous criminal history or lack thereof

Because of the complexity of the controlled substance laws in the State of New York it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being charged with an offense involving the sale of drugs. There are numerous potential defenses that could be available to you; however, only an experienced attorney can review the details of your case and determine if one of the possible defenses could work in your case.

If you have been arrested for  drug related charge, contact an experienced New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please check our representative case page and testimonials & referrals page to see specific information regarding past cases and what our clients and other attorneys have to say about our legal services. Please feel free to contact The Law Offices of Adam Thompson, P.C. for more information about our experience in any legal area anytime at (212)267-2424.