NYC Counterfeit Substances Lawyers: An In-Depth Look
Selling or possessing counterfeit substances in New York City can lead to serious criminal charges. As a hub of commerce and trade, NYC has seen its fair share of counterfeit goods, including medicines, designer items, electronics, and more. When it comes to counterfeit substances that mimic illegal drugs or prescription medications, the legal stakes are even higher.
If you’ve been arrested for a counterfeit substance offense in NYC, you need legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Don’t go it alone against the power of the NYPD and District Attorney’s office. Read on for an in-depth look at NYC counterfeit substances laws and lawyers who can help.
Overview of Counterfeit Substance Charges
New York penal code covers various counterfeit substance crimes under Article 220. The main charges include:
- Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree (NY PL 220.21) – Knowingly possessing a stimulant, hallucinogen, or other scheduled drug that weighs over 4 ounces or contains a quantity of a concentrated form like methamphetamine over 2 ounces. This is a Class A felony.
- Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (NY PL 220.39) – Knowingly selling a narcotic drug like heroin, cocaine, or fentanyl. This is a Class B felony.
- Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree (NY PL 220.03) – Possessing any amount of a controlled substance without a valid prescription. This is a misdemeanor.
- Trademark counterfeiting – Making, selling, or possessing goods that bear a counterfeit trademark under Article 165 of the penal code. This can range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the number of items and their value.
The key is that the substance needs to be confirmed as counterfeit through lab testing, not just suspected of being fake. And the defendant needs to knowingly possess or sell the substance while aware it’s not authentic. Simply unknowingly buying a counterfeit product is not enough to sustain criminal charges.
Why You Need an Attorney
Fighting counterfeit substance charges in New York City takes an aggressive defense lawyer familiar with these cases. Some key reasons to hire legal counsel include:
- Avoiding strict penalties – A felony conviction can lead to years in prison plus steep fines. An attorney can argue for reduced charges or alternate programs.
- Contesting illegal searches – If drugs were found through an unconstitutional search, that evidence can be suppressed.
- Verifying lab tests – Faulty or improper lab testing is not uncommon, and lawyers scrutinize results.
- Negotiating pleas – An experienced negotiator can secure a favorable plea deal with lesser penalties.
- Trial experience – If a trial is needed, a seasoned litigator can pick apart the prosecution’s case.
The bottom line is you should never go it alone against prosecuting attorneys when your future is on the line. Hire counsel as soon as charges are filed.
Finding the Right NYC Defense Lawyer
Choosing the right lawyer is crucial when dealing with severe criminal allegations like counterfeit substance offenses. Here are some tips on finding effective counsel:
- Check credentials – Make sure any lawyer is licensed in NY with a clean disciplinary history.
- Review experience – Look for extensive experience specifically with drug crime cases in NYC courts.
- Meet for a consultation – Schedule a free meeting to discuss your case details and options.
- Consider resources – Opt for a larger firm with the staff and funding to build a strong defense.
- Check reviews – Read feedback from past clients to gauge quality of service.
- Compare fee options – Find flexible payment plans or alternative fee structures.
- Verify specialties – Some lawyers focus on certain types of drug charges like narcotics or steroids.
- Check trial record – For possible trial, find a litigator with a proven courtroom track record.
Take time to research and compare multiple attorneys before deciding on one. Vet each one thoroughly.
Defense Strategies in Counterfeit Substance Cases
Once you’ve hired legal counsel, they can start building a strategic defense to contest the charges. Common approaches include:
- Suppress evidence due to illegal search – If police lacked probable cause for a search or arrest, resulting evidence can be ruled inadmissible.
- Challenge lab testing methods – Shoddy or unreliable testing procedures are grounds for tossing results.
- Dispute possession – Prosecutors must prove you knowingly possessed the substance. You may lack knowledge or control.
- Argue sentencing factors – Present mitigating circumstances like addiction, coercion, or mental illness.
- Negotiate plea bargains – Work towards a favorable deal for reduced charges or alternate programs.
- Take case to trial – Force prosecutors to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt and exploit any weakness.
An adept NYC lawyer will leverage multiple strategies in tandem for the strongest defense.
Why Act Fast After an Arrest
If you or a loved one gets arrested for a suspected counterfeit substance offense, you must act quickly. Here’s why:
- Preserve evidence – Physical evidence, surveillance footage, receipts, etc. can degrade or disappear over time. Collect anything relevant ASAP.
- Stop questioning – Don’t answer any more questions or make statements until your lawyer is present. Avoid self-incrimination.
- Hire counsel fast – An immediate attorney can assist with booking, arraignment, bail, and early defense moves.
- Send notice – Have counsel contact police and prosecutors, putting them on notice not to question you further without counsel.
- Investigate scene – Your lawyer can visit the arrest scene fast before conditions change.
- Build defense – An early start allows maximum time to craft the strongest defense.
Don’t delay in seeking legal help if arrested for a counterfeit drug allegation in New York City. The clock starts ticking immediately.
FAQs About NYC Counterfeit Substance Charges
If you’ve been arrested for a counterfeit drug offense, you likely have many pressing questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Q: Can I be charged just for buying a counterfeit substance?
A: Generally not, unless you knew it was counterfeit at the time. Simply unknowingly purchasing a fake drug is not enough for criminal charges in NY.
Q: What if I thought the drug was real when I sold it?
A: You can still be charged if lab tests later confirm it was counterfeit. But your lawyer can argue you lacked criminal intent.
Q: Do counterfeit substance penalties apply to fake prescription pills?
A: Yes, possessing or selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals can lead to felony charges under NY drug laws.
Q: Can I be charged with other crimes like trademark infringement?
A: Possibly yes, if the substance bore a registered trademark. You may face additional charges.
Q: What are possible defenses for a counterfeit substance case?
A: Common defenses include illegal searches, faulty lab tests, lack of possession/intent, pleading addiction, and procedural errors.
Q: Will a counterfeit substance conviction affect future employment?
A: Yes, many fields require criminal background checks and drug convictions can disqualify applicants.
An experienced criminal lawyer can answer all your case questions during an initial consultation. Don’t hesitate to ask.
Take Action With the Right Legal Help
Facing criminal allegations related to counterfeit substances is extremely serious. New York laws and prosecutors take a hard line on these cases. The penalties can be severe if convicted, possibly changing your life forever.
Now is the time to take action if you’ve been arrested. Speak with a qualified NYC criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. With an aggressive attorney on your side, you can build the strongest possible defense against the charges. A good lawyer knows how to contest shaky evidence, negotiate with prosecutors, and take your case to trial if needed.
Don’t leave your future to chance. Schedule a consultation with a trusted legal advisor to start fighting the charges today. It may be the most important call you ever make.