New York citizens may think that all drug charges are alike. The penalties of a drug charge can be different, though, if someone was selling drugs instead of possessing them, and it is important for people to understand the consequences of dealing drugs.
Some people may not realize that there are many penalties for drug dealing. FindLaw says that a court usually considers how many prior offenses a person has and what kind of drug they were selling when resolving on a sentence. Another factor is the amount of the drug a person sold. New York law generally determines the penalty a person receives for dealing drugs. However, someone may be subject to federal laws as well if they crossed a state line to sell drugs.
Someone may be charged with drug dealing even if they sold less than one gram of a controlled substance. The penalty is usually more severe if someone sold a large amount of a substance. While a person may face at least two years of imprisonment if they sell between one and four grams of substance, the minimum time of imprisonment may rise to five years if the amount of drugs sold was between four and 200 grams. Additionally, the penalty for dealing drugs can change if someone had a firearm while selling drugs.
According to FindLaw, someone in New York has committed a felony if he or she has sold a controlled substance, even if the amount that was sold was small. People may find that they are required to pay a $5,000 fine. If someone was trafficking drugs or has been convicted of a first-degree sale, though, this fine may be up to $100,000. People also may spend time in prison. If a person’s conviction is a fifth-degree felony and if it is the first drug offense, this prison sentence usually ranges from one year to two and half years. People may be imprisoned for up to 20 years, though, if they are convicted of a second-degree felony. Someone who is convicted of major drug trafficking may sometimes receive a life sentence.