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Can I Avoid Going to Jail for a Drug Crime in New York?

Can I Avoid Going to Jail for a Drug Crime in New York?

Many people believe that a drug crime in the state of New York will result in two outcomes: a not guilty verdict or a conviction. Even if you are found to be in possession of only a small amount of narcotics, the penalties are still quite severe.

If you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony drug charge where drug addiction is the main reason why the crime was committed, you may be eligible to participate in a diversion program through New York drug courts. If you successfully complete the program, your case could be dismissed, or your sentence could be reduced.

The state courts understand that not every individual charged with a crime is a criminal. Additionally, incarceration is not the most adequate form of punishment and rehabilitation.

Prior to entering a diversion program, you (the defendant) must enter a plea deal and agree to admit guilt. Furthermore, you must agree to stop all drug-related and alcohol-consuming activity, as well as cooperate with your case manager and courtroom personnel.

The following are the requirements associated with most diversion programs:

  • Court appearances several times each month
  • Weekly drug tests
  • Hours of community service
  • Must be fully employed and/or a full-time student
  • Obtain community-based support services such as mental health treatment, vocational training, and parenting education
  • Enroll in treatment-related programs such as detoxification and methadone maintenance
  • Enroll in a 12-step program

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor drug crime, the diversion program typically lasts 12 months. If you have been charged with a felony drug crime, it often lasts for 18 months.

If you commit a crime, fail to show up for treatment, or fail to appear in court, it is possible for a judge to either modify the circumstances of your program or terminate it entirely, which means you must serve the penalties associated with a conviction or even a harsher sentence.

At Foley Griffin, LLP, we are dedicated to not only helping you avoid serving time behind bars, but also getting you the treatment necessary to get your life back on the right track. Our Nassau County criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case, determine your available legal options, and fight for the best outcome possible in your case.

For more information about drug crimes in New York, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

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