Public Health Law Section 3306 entitled “schedules of controlled substances” sets forth the classification for all of the prohibited or unlawful substances. The Penal Law has specific offenses listed under sections 220 for most drugs and 221 for marijuana.
The severity of each offense relies on both the weight of the substance and the action taken in relation to the substance. Possession of an unlawful substance alone will inevitability be less serious than the sale of a unlawful substance.
Each type of drug offense has certain elements that must be proven by the District Attorney’s Office beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition there are certain procedure processes by which the District Attorney’s Office must adhered to including obtaining a laboratory analysis of the substance seized, establish the exact weight, and establish a chain of custody to ensure that the substance has not been altered.
Attorney Jason Henskee views drug addiction and alcoholism as a serious disease which afflicts and effects our community, families, and the individuals that suffer from the disease. His experience and studies in psychopharmacology, neuropsychopharmacology, and drug addiction have allowed him to have an in-depth understanding of the disease including its effects on the individual afflicted and viable treatment options.
Over the course of his career as an Attorney, Jason Henskee has developed extensive connections and contacts with numerous counselors, treatment interventionists, treatment centers (both inpatient and outpatient), treatment coordinators, crisis counselors, and other recovering alcoholics and addicts that have a strong desire to help another alcoholic or addict in need.
Attorney Jason Henskee interviews each client individually and makes an initial assessment regarding the extent and history of substance use. Attorney Jason Henskee realizes that not all of his clients fall into the category of an alcoholic or addict and in fact many of his clients use foreign substances on a recreational basis.
In nearly all drug cases Attorney Jason Henskee provides his clients with contact information for various counselors located near the client’s residence. Most individuals charged with a drug offense or D.W.I. offense will either be required or want to obtain an alcohol/substance abuse evaluation. In most instances obtaining an evaluation is in the clients best interest and beneficial to his or her case.
Drug and D.W.I. laws in New York State have changed dramatically and continue to change in many respects. Under the prior “Rockefeller Drug Laws” the ideology was to harshly punish individuals who sold or even possessed unlawful substances.
After years of the medical and scientific communities consistently arguing that addiction is a disease, the legislature and judicial systems finally caught on and changed the way drug cases are now handled.
The current ideology in most cases with the exception of large scale trafficking is a treatment based approach. Today most courts either have treatment courts or the ability to transfer a case to another court that utilizes a treatment court. In many cases successful completion of a drug court program can result in a better disposition for the client.
Alternatively D.W.I. laws have become much more serious and the consequences much more severe. Years ago a police officer stopping you for a vehicle and traffic violation who realizes that you are under the influence of alcohol would either have you leave your vehicle and give you a ride home or ask if you were o.k. to drive home.
Today driving under the influence of alcohol almost always results in an arrest and a charge being filed.
Attorney Jason Henskee is well versed in the polices of the District Attorney’s Office, plea policies for D.W.I’s, the structure and experience of drug court, and the unique approach of the different judges in each court.
Treatment or Drug Court is not necessarily a component of a client’s case. In many instances a case can be resolved without the requirement of treatment or a therapeutic court. Whether or not this is an option in your case depends on the facts of the case, your diagnosis if any, and your history of alcohol or drug use if applicable.
If applicable the decision of whether or not to engage in a treatment court is an important decision. Prior to making that decision Attorney Jason Henskee reviews your case, your history, your diagnosis or lack thereof, and discusses the particular treatment court and whether agreeing to such a program is appropriate in your case.
Marijuana offense have been greatly decimalized over the years. As you may be aware many states are now legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes and a few states have even legalized marijuana completely.
In New York, first time possession of a small amount of marijuana under penal law 221 will result in an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD). Essentially if you are caught with a small amount of marijuana and it is your first such offense then you are entitled the opportunity to have your charges dismissed so long as you remain arrest free for a six month period following your last court date for the offense charged. However if you are rearrested during the six month period, the court can restore the charges to the active court calendar.
Drug offenses and the circumstances that resulted in the police seizing the unlawful substances are complex. Attorney Jason Henskee will investigate and scrutinize how the police approached you, what they asked you, how they searched you, how they obtained the unlawful substance, what you said, and whether or not the police acted proper under the given circumstances.
Attorney Jason Henskee knows how to effectively handle drug cases and works closely with his clients in meeting the unique needs in their particular case.