Kicking back and enjoying yourself during the summer can look like a lot of different things. It might look like a ball game with your friends or heading out to the park with your family. For some people, it could be enjoying a backyard bonfire with a few beers or going out clubbing late at night with your friends.
Those who are looking to party hard and stay up late often turn to stimulant substances. When those Red Bull mixed drinks aren’t cutting it anymore, people tend to consider cocaine, which has remained a popular party drug for decades. In fact, it is a drug commonly associated with New York’s business and artist subcultures.
Despite the fact that cocaine use is relatively common in New York, its use and possession are still serious criminal offenses. If law enforcement officers stop by the party or pull you over on your way to or from an event, you can find yourself facing serious criminal charges if you have cocaine in your possession at that time.
New York is very tough on Schedule I drugs
In a lot of ways, New York has relatively liberal laws and social policies. In fact, the state can often set the trend that other states eventually follow regarding modernizing archaic laws with a focus on modern cultural needs. However, when it comes to drug laws, New York still has very strict policies.
The laws passed initially in 1973, now called the Rockefeller drug laws, created the harshest penalties in the country for those accused of drug crimes. Although state lawmakers finally removed the mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes under these laws in 2009, those who get caught with cocaine can still expect to deal with significant consequences.
The more cocaine you have in your possession at the time of your arrest, the greater the potential legal ramifications you face. Even possession of 500 mg or more of cocaine could result in felony charges. In many states, simple possession of small amounts only results in misdemeanor offenses.
You have the right to defend yourself from a drug charge
Law enforcement officers do make mistakes when attempting to enforce controlled substances laws. For example, there have been cases where people faced arrest and criminal charges for substances that later turned out to be sugar. Just having a folded straw in your pocket could cause problems. You could also wind up in trouble because of something your friend brought to a party.
Before you plead guilty to any pending charges, you should absolutely look into your options for a criminal defense. Depending on circumstances, there are a variety of strategies that may help reduce the potential consequences you face related to cocaine possession.