Avoiding the Most Common Charge in New York
In 2012, drug offenses were cited as the most common cause of arrest in the United States, totaling approximately 1.55 million. According to recently released FBI statements, most of these offenses were for mere possession. About 82 percent of the arrests were for possession offenses, and about 42.4 percent were for marijuana possession alone. That adds up to approximately one drug arrest every 20 seconds and one marijuana arrest every 42 seconds!
The punishments for possession crimes can be life-altering and severe, with classifications ranging from class A misdemeanors to a class A-1 felony. It is important to understand your rights when it comes to these classifications to better protect yourself.
While the rate of unsolved homicides has skyrocketed over the past 50 years and violent crime arrests have been steadily decreasing since 1994, a recent study showed that New York police spent approximately 1 million hours over the past 10 years just on marijuana arrests. However, this trend is likely to change as many jurisdictions are no longer interested in using police resources for low-level marijuana offenses.
Although possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in New York, there have been reports of marijuana being removed from pockets during routine searches, leading to an arrest for possessing marijuana in public view. As a result, advocates have declared this policy to be an unfair violation of Fourth Amendment rights.
With the increasing number of drug overdoses, law enforcement resources are being directed to opiate possession and sale as the availability of drugs such as heroine and oxycotin has become prevalent. Police officers are aggressively being directed to monitor known drug locations and individuals in an effort to deter the use and sale of these narcotics As a result, it is not far-fetched to think that individual privacy rights are being affected.
Regardless, every man or woman facing a drug arrest is entitled to a strong defense. If you or someone you know is fighting a possession charge, contact an experienced attorney right away.