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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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New York Penal Code %c2%a7 220 21 Criminal Possession Controlled Substance First Degree

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:23 pm

How to Find the Best Lawyer for NY Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree Charges

Allegations of criminal possession of controlled substances in the first degree in New York under Penal Code § 220.21 can completely devastate lives and futures. Prosecutions for possessing large quantities of dangerous drugs like heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine are intensely complex. Having the most skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyer is crucial when facing decades behind bars. Use this guide when researching attorneys to defend your freedom.

Seek Out Former Manhattan Prosecutors

There is no better asset in a drug crime lawyer than direct prosecutorial experience within the very office handling your case. Former Manhattan assistant DAs understand how these cases get built from the inside, know the procedures, and maintain invaluable relationships with current prosecutors. Consider former ADA backgrounds strongly when vetting counsel.

Verify Substantial Experience Defending First Degree Drug Charges

Drafting motions and prepping witnesses for small drug possession cases is far different than defending major felonies like § 220.21. Seek out lawyers who routinely handle large-scale trafficking and sales charges at the first degree level. Ask prospective hires the number of top-level cases they have taken to trial and their rates of favorable outcomes in such cases.

Review Experience with Specific Drugs Involved

Charges vary drastically depending on the controlled substance laws pertaining to the exact drug type involved, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, LSD or prescription opioids. Look for lawyers with abundant expertise built over years of cases fought specific to the chemical compound at issue in your allegations. Matching lawyer experience to the precise substance is ideal.

Ask About Their Track Record for Suppressing Evidence

A specialty of elite drug crime lawyers is bringing motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence under 4th Amendment privacy rights and search and seizure laws. Probe the prospective lawyer’s motion success rates specifically for major drug cases and ask for real examples of their past suppression wins before trial. A knack for suppressing evidence can quickly unravel the prosecution’s case.

Verify Skill at Challenging Drug Expert Witnesses

The government will leverage expert testimony on topics like narcotics investigations, quantification calculations, fingerprint analysis, and more. You need counsel capable of vigorously cross-examining these experts to diminish credibility and raise doubt around technical evidence against you. Look for proven experience picking apart expert testimony in drug cases.

Seek Counsel Adept at Sentencing Mitigation

Facing extremely high statutory minimums and sentencing guidelines in top-level drug felonies, retaining post-conviction sentencing experts is invaluable but highly specialized. Target lawyers who excel at navigating complex sentencing guidelines and statutes to creatively carve out downward departures through meticulous mitigation work. This artistry can translate into years less incarceration.

Ask About Utilizing Expert Witnesses

Combating the prosecution’s experts requires deploying quality defense experts that can challenge the allegations and evidence from fresh angles. Verify prospective lawyers fully leverage rebuttal experts in key fields including narcotics trafficking patterns, false positive field testing, fingerprint analysis, Fourth Amendment boundaries, and statistical probability. Well-vetted experts add ammunition against the charges.

Inquire About Independent Defense Investigators

Lawyers who proactively unleash their own investigators to re-interview informants, analyze video and audio evidence, recreate crime scenes, and probe backgrounds of law enforcement and witnesses show they leave no stone unturned. Ask if prospective hires use licensed investigators extensively to strengthen major drug crime defenses.

Seek Both Trial and Negotiation Strengths

While cases often plea out, you want counsel capable and confident in fighting at trial when necessary. But negotiation talents are also vital for maneuvering plea deals if in your best interest. Ideal lawyers possess mastery of both critical skillsets to secure your most favorable outcome either way. Avoid negotiators afraid of the courtroom.

Verify Attention to Detail and Work Ethic

Drug crime cases hinge on exhaustive preparation and meticulous strategic execution. Look for tireless workhorses who display tenacity pouring through evidence, statutes, guidelines, case law, and investigation opportunities surrounding your charges. You need counsel willing to devote 40, 60 or 80+ hour weeks to build your strongest defense.

Choose Federal Case Experience If Facing Federal Charges

While both carry grave penalties, defending state versus federal drug crime indictments involves distinct skills, strategies, and procedural playbooks. Federal cases invoke complex federal sentencing guidelines requiring different expertise. If up against the DEA or US Attorney’s office, retain counsel well-versed specifically in federal court.

Ask About Past Experience with Your Presiding Judge

Familiarity with the unique temperament, tendencies, and expectations of your assigned judge can illuminate strategies. During consultations, ask prospective lawyers about their past experiences appearing before your judge and success stories of acquittals or favorable rulings they’ve obtained. Such insights help cater tactics.

Compare Multiple Consultations Before Deciding

Do not retain the first lawyer you meet. Interview at least three potential hires to make informed comparisons regarding competence, communication styles and degree of confidence inspired. Approach meetings with consistent questions prepared in advance. Follow your instincts – multiple lawyers prevent rash decisions.

Move Quickly to Engage the Right Attorney

Wasting time increases risks, so act urgently once indicted. The earlier your lawyer gets involved, the quicker investigation and negotiations can commence before the prosecution solidifies their version of events and supplemental charges get stacked on. Timing is everything, so retain expert counsel immediately.

Gauge Your Gut Feelings After Consultations

Some lawyer traits are hard to quantify, so listen to your instincts when meeting candidates. Note how they make you feel – does their compassion, concern and confidence put you at ease? Or do you leave consultations second-guessing and uneasy? Go with the attorney you trust in your gut to protect your future.

Selecting the lawyer with the right blend of experience, negotiation skills, and determination to leave no argument unmade is paramount when facing serious drug possession charges carrying massive prison terms. An exceptional legal advocate levels the playing field against the intense government prosecution you now face. Your future hinges on making the smartest choice.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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