Long Island Drug Trafficking and Distribution Attorney


The State of New York has some of the harshest drug distribution and drug trafficking laws in the country. Not only are New York’s drug laws notoriously harsh, they are also extremely complex and confusing. To make matters worse, New York prosecutors are infamous for aggressively pursuing drug-related charges to uphold their “tough on drugs” reputation. The complexity of New York’s laws combined with prosecutors’ persecution of drug-related offenses means you need the best representation possible to protect your rights and your future. Without the zealous representation of experienced defense counsel, New York City, and Long Island police and prosecutors may intentionally or unintentionally violate your constitutional rights to get a conviction. As a result, improper defense counsel may leave you with not only a large legal bill for subpar representation but also exorbitant fines and imprisonment if convicted.

With more than 100 years of collective legal experience, the lawyers at Barket Epstein & Kearon, LLP bring extraordinary skill, unmatched knowledge, and tireless dedication to provide you with exceptional legal defense on Long Island, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, on Staten Island, and the Greater New York City area. Our attorneys have served as prosecutors and judges, which allows us to stay one step ahead of the prosecution in your defense. If you have been accused or formally charged with drug trafficking, drug distribution, or any other drug crime in New York, we are here to help.

What Charges Could I Face?

In New York, drug distribution charges based on the sale of drugs are identified as the “Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance” or the “Criminal Sale of Marijuana” under the New York Penal Code. New York does not include marijuana in its list of controlled substances, but does include concentrated cannabis. As a result, the sale of controlled substances and marijuana is governed by different statutes with different penalties. Having a criminal defense attorney who understands New York’s complex drug laws can mean the difference between acquittal and jail time. At Barket Epstein, we have used our extensive knowledge of New York’s drug laws to successfully defend numerous clients against these charges.

To be guilty of the criminal sale of a controlled substance or marijuana, a person must knowingly and unlawfully sell a controlled substance or marijuana. New York law provides an extensive list of controlled substances, but the most common controlled substances are cocaine, ecstasy (“molly”), GHB, heroin, ketamine, LSD (“acid”), methadone, methamphetamine (“meth”), PCP, prescription drugs, and psilocybin mushrooms (“mushrooms” or “shrooms”).

In New York, you can face different charges for the same underlying activity of selling controlled substances or marijuana. The specific charge is dependent upon the circumstances of the alleged conduct, including what was sold, how much, and the recipient and environment. For example, the sale of 2g of marijuana could be charged as the “criminal sale of marijuana in the fifth degree,” although the sale of 2g of marijuana to someone under 18 years of age could be charged as the “criminal sale of marih=juana in the second degree” due to the buyer being a minor. Further, whether the person you sold marijuana to is an adult or minor determines whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

In the most serious allegations, prosecutors may charge someone with “operating as a major drug trafficker.” An individual can be charged with operating as a major drug trafficker if he or she:

Acts as the director of a controlled substance organization selling controlled substances which have a total value of $75,000 or more over any twelve-month period; or
While acting as a profiteer, knowingly and unlawfully possesses or sells narcotic drugs with a total value of $75,000 or more during any 6-month period.

It is a misdemeanor to illegally sell 25g marijuana or less and a felony to illegally sell more than 25g of marijuana or to sell marijuana to someone under 18 years of age. Unlike marijuana, however, all charges relating to the illegal sale of controlled substances are felonies.

What are the Consequences of Drug Distribution and Drug Trafficking in New York?

New York drug offenses carry significant fines and prison sentences. For misdemeanors, a conviction carries a maximum fine of $500to 1,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 3 months to 1 year. Felony convictions carry higher penalties, with fine maximums ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 and minimum prison sentences of 1 year. The most extreme charge, operating as a major drug trafficker, carries a fine of up to $100,000 and 15 years to life in prison.

If convicted, you may face additional penalties such as being ineligible for certain jobs, losing the right to vote while incarcerated, and losing the right to own a firearm in most situations. Even if you are acquitted, being charged carries repercussions that may impact your friends, family, and professional life. The attorneys at Barket Epstein are here to protect you in and outside of the courtroom. We maintain an impeccable reputation for mitigating the impact that being charged or convicted has on your life.

How Will Barket Epstein Defend You?

At Barket Epstein, we will utilize our decades of collective experience to aggressively defend you. Through tireless preparation and dedication, our attorneys comb through every fact of the case and ensure that the police and prosecutor have followed the law. It is not uncommon for the police to have violated the law during your arrest, or to have incorrectly collected evidence or gathered testimony in establishing their charges. However, recognizing these violations requires an experienced and dedicated attorney. Identifying violations may render evidence inadmissible which provides leverage in negotiating with the prosecutor and may even result in the dismissal of your charges. Our experience, preparation, and dedication will save you time, money, and stress.

We will work obsessively to protect your rights, your freedom, and your reputation. If you have been accused of drug distribution or drug trafficking, please contact our office as soon as possible for a free consultation.