Criminal Defense for Drug Crimes
Over the course of 20 plus years, Attorney Steve Juskewitch has handled hundreds of drug cases in the federal and state courts in Maine, establishing himself as a top-flight, hard-nosed Maine Drug Crimes Lawyer.
And how have I accomplished that? Because I've been very successful at taking care of these charges for my clients.
Whether the case involves charges of simple possession of drugs or a complex, multi-defendant federal conspiracy case spanning a decade of time, I have the experience and know-how that translates into successful resolutions of drug cases.
Narcotics or controlled substance cases are by far the most commonly prosecuted cases in the Maine and Federal Criminal justice system. In Maine courts, drug charges may be brought as a misdemeanor (a less serious case), or as a felony, a far more serious crime.
By and large, the severity of the charges (whether the charges are misdemeanor or felony) will depend on three factors: the type of drugs involved, the amount or quantity of the drugs involved, and whether or not there is evidence that the drugs were to be sold to another person.
Drug charges in Maine courts typically involve situations in which the police claim to have found a person in possession of drugs in their clothing, in a car, or in an apartment or house. Or the police claim to have observed a person selling drugs to another person, or claim to have purchased drugs from a person while acting in an undercover capacity.
No matter what the scenario, drug cases in Maine courts are serious matters, and the potential punishment for a narcotics conviction, even for a first offense, can be very harsh. If the amount of drugs possessed or sold is significant enough, under Maine law, the charges you face can even be as harsh as a murder charge.
In Maine Law, the following crimes are referred to as Controlled Substance Offenses, Marijuana Offenses, and Offenses involving Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions and/or related offenses.
Here's a closer look at the actual drug charges you might be facing:
- Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance
- Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in or near School Grounds
- Criminally Possessing a Hypodermic Instrument
- Criminal Injection of a Narcotic Drug
- Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia
- Criminal Possession of Precursors of Controlled Substances
- Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance
- Unlawful Possession of Marijuana
- Criminal Possession of Marijuana
- Criminal Sale of Marijuana
- Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions
- Criminal Solicitation
- Criminal Facilitation
- Money Laundering
Most federal narcotics cases are the result of investigations conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). The most common federal charges involve the manufacture, distribution, dispensing or possession with the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense of controlled substances, the use of a telephone or other electronic device in connection with a controlled substance offense, the importation or smuggling of controlled substances into the United States, and conspiring to commit these offenses.
This last crime - conspiracy - has been called the "darling of prosecutors" and is charged in almost every drug case brought in federal court.
Federal drug cases also often involve charges brought against so-called drug trafficking organizations and can result in scores of people being arrested for their alleged roles in an ongoing enterprise. With greater frequency, they may also involve the alleged diversion of prescription medications for illicit uses, and the unlawful distribution of controlled substances on the internet by online pharmacies.
Due to highly complex and confusing federal sentencing guidelines and congressionally-imposed minimum sentences that apply to narcotics cases, it is imperative that you hire a New York drug defense attorney with years of experience defending persons accused of federal narcotics charges.
The punishments you face if convicted of a drug offense in federal court are severe. Depending on the type of substance involved and the quantity for which one is being held responsible, even for a first offender, there may be mandatory minimum prison sentences involved of at least 5 and up to 10 years. If an accused has previously been convicted of a narcotics-related offense, a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years may be involved.
Federal Drug Charges are tough cases....but for 20 years, I've met the challenge and am retained regularly by new clients to help them.
Under the United States Code, the following are narcotics-related crimes:
(This is found at www.dea.gov/pubs/csa.html and sections that follow)
- Illegal Manufacture, Distribution, Dispensing or Possession with the Intent to
- Manufacture, Distribute or Dispense of Controlled Substances
- Wrongful Possession or Distribution of Listed Chemicals
- Use of a Communication Facility to Commit a Controlled Substance Offense
- Opening or Maintaining a Place for the Manufacture, Distribution or Use of a
- Controlled Substance
- Continuing Criminal Enterprise
- Investment of Illicit Drug Profits
- Money Laundering
- Distribution of a Controlled Substance to Persons Under Age 21
- Distribution or Manufacturing in or Near Schools and Colleges
- Employment or Use of Persons Under 18 Years of Age in Drug Operations
- Sale of Drug Paraphernalia
- Importation of Controlled Substances
- Exportation of Controlled Substances
- Possession, Manufacturer or Distribution for Purpose of Unlawful Importation
- Attempt to Possess, Manufacturer or Distribute for Purpose of Unlawful Importation
Experience has taught me that narcotics cases feature two recurring themes: questionable action on the part of law enforcement in searching for and seizing evidence, and the use of dubious police informants in furthering police investigations. I have litigated hundreds of motions to suppress or to throw out of court evidence which was obtained in violation of a person's constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
And in hundreds of cases, I've aggressively fought against reliance on unsavory police informers.
In drug cases, there are several critical issues and defenses which arise regularly and with which the defense attorney must have a breadth of experience. I have:
Experience in the representation of professionals involved in the internet pharmacy business.
Experience defending complex, international money laundering prosecutions in federal court.
Experience defending federal and state conspiracy cases involving the use of audio-taped recordings, obtained consensually or via court-authorized eavesdropping devices.
Experience challenging the right of the police or federal agents in stopping and searching client’s motor vehicles and their contents, and confronting claims that a person voluntarily consented to or gave permission for the police to search a vehicle.
Experience challenging the right of the police or federal agents in searching the residence of an accused, whether such a search was undertaken pursuant to a search warrant or otherwise.
Experience challenging the credibility of police informants who seek to benefit themselves by providing law enforcement with often unreliable and false information regarding others.
Experience attacking the credibility of government "cooperators" who seek to reduce punishment for their crimes by often falsely implicating others in such offenses.
Experience countering the presumption under New York law that all of the occupants of a car or room where drugs have been found knowingly possess that controlled substance.
Experience challenging the quantity of a controlled substance for which an accused is to be held responsible under federal sentencing guidelines.
Experience asserting defenses of entrapment, agency, and unwitting participation in narcotics prosecutions at the state and federal level.
Experience gaining clients' admission into alternative sentencing programs to help to overcome narcotics addiction and avoid prison sentences.
Experience in the representation of professionals accused in connection with the illegal diversion of prescription medications involved in the pharmaceutical sample industry.
At the end of the day, you have a choice. You can depend on an "average" Maine drug defense lawyer, or one of the best.
So if you, or a loved one, finds them self to be the target of an investigation related to drug crimes, or has already been arrested and charged with a drug related crime, and wants one of the best, don't hesitate to call me immediately for a free consultation at 207-667-0483. If you need help after regular business hours or on a weekend, call my emergency line at 207-240-6582.