Counterfeit substances are anything designed to look like a controlled drug, prescription drug or narcotic. Many people do not realize it is a crime to create, sell, distribute or possess these substances even as a joke. If you have been charged with one of these offenses, then you need legal representation from the Raiser & Kenniff. An attorney can do several things for you when dealing with counterfeit substances charges.
Ensure Police Followed the Correct Procedures
Determining that someone is potentially holding or distributing counterfeit substances can be very complex from a legal perspective. A lawyer will help you by ensuring that the police followed all correct procedures in order to arrive at the charge. This means questioning whether there was probable cause to even look for or test the substance in question. It also involves checking that any warrants were followed correctly. If the right procedures were not followed, then an attorney could have the evidence suppressed.
Explore Valid Defenses against the Charges
The complexities of a counterfeit substances case mean that you have a good chance of mounting an effective defense if you have the help of an attorney from the Raiser & Kenniff. A lawyer will listen to your story and then see how it fits within the framework of a legal defense. You might not have realized the substance was counterfeit or might have been fooled by someone else. You might never have intended to pass off the substance as something legitimate. Your attorney will work with you to explore and develop a defense against the charges.
Avoid Escalating or Additional Charges
The possession, production or distribution of counterfeit substances is closely related to other drug offenses in New York City. This means that prosecutors or police might attempt to attach larger or additional charges to your case. These can include charges for conspiracy, possession of an illegal substance and other drug offenses even if the substance is a harmless household product. A lawyer will do everything possible to protect you against these additional or escalated charges.
Aggressively Question Witnesses
Certain types of counterfeit substances cases will rely heavily on what witnesses say in order to prove your motivations or actions. Those witnesses can be harmful to your case if not questioned in the right way. An attorney from the Raiser & Kenniff, will aggressively question any relevant witnesses in an attempt to poke holes in the timeline or disprove what the person believes was happening. This can potentially sway the judge or jury to your side since it will look like the witness was mistaken. A lawyer has the skill and experience to handle witnesses.
Gather Relevant Evidence for Your Defense
An attorney understands the law and the rules regarding evidence. A lawyer will know what evidence could help your defense. Lawyers will work hard to gather any relevant evidence that will potentially prove your innocence. This could mean videos of you, statements from people who dispute what happened or physical evidence from your home or workplace. Having an attorney on your side who will actively seek out the evidence you need can be invaluable when facing counterfeit substances charges in New York.
Negotiate With the Prosecutor
The difficulty of prosecuting a counterfeit substances case is that it largely has to do with intangible things like what you knew and what your intentions were. Prosecutors would rather avoid going to trial. An attorney will attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor almost from the start. It is possible that the charges could be greatly reduced to an unclassified misdemeanor or dropped altogether. Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can make a solid case as to why pursuing maximum charges with jail time is not really worth the effort for prosecutors.
Present Mitigating Circumstances If Necessary
If you have been convicted and are moving onto sentencing, then a lawyer from Raiser & Kenniff, PC will attempt to present mitigating circumstances to the judge. Mitigating circumstances are factors that clearly show you are not deserving of severe punishment. This is important because appealing to the judge by showing you did not understand NYC law or did this only once in your life could make the difference between whether you go to jail or just have to pay a fine.