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Long Island Drug Possession Attorney

If you face drug possession charges in Suffolk County or Nassau County, you need a Long Island drug possession attorney who can protect your rights and help prove your innocence. Maybe the police officer caught you with the drugs, and you need a Long Island drug crimes attorney to help get your sentence or fine reduced. You can risk telling your side of the story on your own, or you can hire a Long Island drug possession attorney who knows the legal system inside and out.
Long Island drug possession attorney

Drug Possession Charges

The penalty for drug possession depends on the type of drug, the quantity of drugs, the circumstances, and the jurisdiction or the arrest and/or charge. Sometimes, a conviction can mean steep fines and jail time. Maybe you didn’t have possession of the drugs, but your control of the flow and distribution of the drugs can make you guilty. Furthermore, an illegitimate drug possession charge can cost you your reputation, your job, even your marriage so it’s important that you do all that you can to defend your name against a drug possession charge.

New York penal law describes seven degrees of illegal drug possession, with first degree being the most serious, and seventh degree drug possession the least serious. One element of these offenses is that the person charged must be shown to have known that the drugs were in his or her possession. In other words, a person must have knowledge of the drugs in order to be found guilty of their possession.

Possession of Controlled Substances

In New York, it is illegal to willfully and knowingly possess a controlled substance, which includes certain amounts of marijuana. The challenge for the prosecution is showing this willful and knowing intent to possess the controlled substance. If the prosecutor can’t show this beyond a reasonable doubt, then the charges against the accused may be dismissed.

Possession of Marijuana

Many states allow marijuana for medical use, and several have legalized pot for recreational consumption as well. Thus, you might be surprised to find that people in New York are still issued appearance tickets for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (UPM). It usually starts with a traffic stop where the police officer either smells marijuana, sees the residue in your ashtray, or suspects that you’re stoned based on your appearance and behavior. Possession of fewer than 25 grams of marijuana for personal use is not a “crime” in New York but is a “violation,” and first-time offenders can usually get out of court with a $100.00 fine (plus a costly New York State surcharge). However, even a conviction for a simple violation creates a record that you may have to disclose to employers, and a conviction may also hurt your ability to acquire financial aid for college. A conviction for possession of less than 25 grams makes you ineligible – at least temporarily – for Pell Grants, Stafford Student Loans, the Federal Work-Study Program, and all other federal student aid programs. If you have prior violations on your record, you could face more severe penalties. If you are facing a marijuana possession charge on Long Island or anywhere in New York City, get the legal help you need at once and speak to an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney. Don’t put your education or your future at risk.

Possession of Heroin

First of all, New York has some of the toughest and most confusing laws regarding the sale and possession of heroin. Secondly, your sentence, if found guilty, will be based on a lot of different details from your case.  Your previous criminal history, how much heroin was in your possession, and if you were selling it, — all contribute to what sentence you are eligible for. In New York State, most people strike a plea agreement in order to avoid trial, in fact, most heroin arrests never go to trial.

If you’re accused of possession or any other drug-related offense in the Long Island or New York City area, get legal help at once and speak to an experienced Long Island drug possession lawyer promptly. The sooner you call after you have been arrested, the quicker a criminal defense lawyer can begin to work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

What To Do If You’re Accused

What citizens need to realize is that they are under no obligation to speak with the police or to consent to any searches.  If the police have a reason to search a person, they do not need permission from that person to conduct the search.  In many cases, when police ask for consent, they are asking for permission to embark on a fishing expedition. This is not the way laws were meant to be enforced, but an overly unaware population make it easy for police to invade their privacy because they think they are required to grant consent requests, which is simply not true.

Furthermore, citizens who are being investigated by police, for any reason, are never under an obligation to answer questions.  In many jurisdictions, a person is only required to identify him or herself to police, but there is no requirement for individuals to answer investigatory questions.  Like with searches, if the police have evidence to justify an arrest, they can make the arrest whether the suspect confesses or remains silent.  What often ends up happening is that, instead of helping, statements from suspects are used against them by the prosecution.

Remember, it is not the job of police to assign guilt, it is the job of police to collect facts and evidence in support of facts. Trying to convince the police of one’s innocence is meaningless, as they do not have the authority to convict or pardon; that authority is vested in the courts.

If you are facing drug charges involving the possession of marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs, or other narcotics, seek representation from one of the top criminal defense attorneys at Mirsky Law Firm. Our lawyers understand the severity of the penalties for both felony and misdemeanor drug crimes. Contact us today to learn about our legal services and discuss your legal options.

Hire A Long Island Drug Possession Attorney

Accusations and circumstances arise where you might feel hopeless: perhaps you were pulled over and your friend had a controlled substance in their pocket and you didn’t know about it. Maybe you were at a party where drugs were present outside of your knowledge. Police officers are not trained to make the distinction between ownership and possession and often times that can put law abiding citizens in a sticky situation.

The legal battle in front of you will be overwhelming and a “guilty” plea could let yourself, your friends and family, and your boss down. You made a few wrong choices and as a result your life is unraveling, and now you just need someone you can trust to help you put your life back together.

The Long Island drug possession attorneys at the Mirsky Law firm want to help you gain the peace of mind when you walk into court with a defense attorney by your side. When you hire us to defend you, you can rest assured that you’ve got an aggressive Long Island drug possession attorney with years of experience going to bat for you. If possible, we will negotiate with the prosecutors on your behalf to reduce the charges. Please call us today or fill out the form on this site for a free consultation so we can begin fighting these charges on your behalf.

How Do The Courts Prove Drug Possession?

When someone is charged with the illegal possession of drugs in the state of New York, how does a prosecutor prove that the person is guilty as charged?

Could someone who is falsely accused of drug possession be convicted anyway? What are your rights and options if you are accused of illegally possessing drugs in New York? How can a Long Island drug crimes lawyer help?

Here’s what you need to know about drug possession and the law in our state.

While having a small amount of an illegal drug for your own personal use may not be considered the most egregious crime committed in New York, a drug possession conviction can still land a defendant behind bars in this state.

Scores of New York statutes cover the sale, cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and trafficking of illegal drugs.

The criminal penalties for those who are convicted of the illegal possession of drugs will hinge to a large extent on the amount of drugs or money involved, the type of drugs, whether weapons or minors were involved, and a defendant’s criminal history.

But precisely what does the state have to prove to convict someone of illegal drug possession?


The answer is that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had possession – “actual” possession, “constructive” possession, or “joint” possession – of illegal drugs.

In many drug cases, these legal concepts of actual possession and constructive possession will come into play.

What’s called actual possession is usually simple to prove, while the constructive or joint possession of drugs may be more difficult for a prosecutor to demonstrate.

How are these terms defined? “Actual” possession usually means that the police discovered drugs on a defendant’s “person” – that is, in a purse, pocket, backpack, stashed in someone’s socks or shoes, or sometimes even swallowed.

If the search of the defendant’s person was conducted legally, the testimony of the officer who discovered the drugs is usually sufficient to convict the defendant.


A defendant’s “constructive” possession of illegal drugs is presumed when the drug is found in a location where the defendant had “dominion and control” over the area.

Legally speaking, a conviction based on constructive possession means that a defendant had could and/or intended to possess and control the illegal drugs.

Constructive possession does not have to be proven by a prosecutor – it can simply be inferred. For example, if illegal drugs are discovered in a defendant’s desk or refrigerator, it can be “inferred” that the defendant had dominion and control over the desk or refrigerator, and thus over the drugs.


“Joint possession” of illegal drugs means that more than one individual had constructive or actual possession of the drugs.

For example, if illegal drugs are discovered in a married couple’s kitchen or bedroom, the law in New York presumes that both spouses were in constructive possession.

Another example: When police officers stop a moving vehicle in traffic in New York and find illegal drugs in the console between the driver’s seat and the front passenger’s seat, the driver along with any passengers may all be presumed to have joint and constructive possession of the illegal drugs.

Clearly, proving actual possession is easier for the state than proving constructive or joint possession.

Constructive possession is tougher to prove because the state must show that a defendant had dominion or control over the area where the drugs were found and that the defendant knew or “should have known” that the drugs were illegal.

Simply being in the vicinity of illegal drugs is not sufficient to prove constructive possession. There must be something more. Other states like Oklahoma have different laws, so it is best to consult with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney.


When a defendant lives alone or is the only occupant of a vehicle where illegal drugs are found, that usually establishes constructive – if not actual – possession.

But when a defendant is not the only resident in a home or the only occupant in vehicle, the state must provide something more to prove constructive possession.

That “something more” could be that the illegal drugs were found in the defendant’s bedroom or other personal effects, that the illegal drugs were located in plain sight, or in the case of a vehicle, that the illegal drugs were found under the defendant’s seat. Strict rules govern vehicle searches.

For instance, if a police officer stops you in traffic and believes that you are armed, you can be asked to step from the vehicle, and you can be searched.

If illegal drugs are found during a “pat-down” search conducted in these circumstances, the drugs can be seized, you can be charged with possession of illegal drugs, and your rights have not been violated.


New York drug laws are designed to produce convictions. To be convicted of illegal drug possession, the drugs do not even have to be in your personal physical possession.

Anyone on Long Island or in New York City who is charged with possession – constructive or actual – of illegal drugs will need the help of an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer who can explain how the concept of constructive possession may apply in your own drug possession case.

When someone is allegedly found possessing a large amount of illegal drugs, a simple possession charge can become the more serious charge “possession with intent to distribute.”

When the drug is particularly dangerous – such as methamphetamine, heroin, or cocaine – a charge of possession with intent to distribute can mean a severe mandatory minimum penalty.

However, unless a defendant confesses or is caught in the act, possession with intent to distribute must be inferred from circumstantial evidence like the way the drug was packaged or the discovery of the paraphernalia and equipment – such as scales and plastic bags – used to sell drugs illegally.

If you have been charged with the possession of illegal drugs – or with any drug crime – on Long Island or in New York City, you should contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer immediately.

A drug conviction can negatively impact your life and even land you in jail or prison.

Being advised and represented by a skilled defense attorney is imperative – and it’s your right – if you are charged with any drug crime in the state of New York.

Contact Our Offices Today!

David M. Mirsky Law Office
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