Small towns all over the United States are getting serious about drug use and distribution and law enforcement is cracking down. In mid-August, Batavia, New York saw two drugs-related arrests within a day of each other. A young man on parole was alleged to have been carrying cocaine when he was stopped by the police and was also alleged to have illegal drug-related paraphernalia in his home. Separately, a young woman is alleged to have made an attempt to sell cocaine to an undercover police officer for a second time within a six-month period. Drug charges were filed against both persons.

Each of the two arrestees has been charged with a third-degree criminal offense; the man is charged on one count and the woman on four counts. Both have been sent under remand without bail to the county jail. If convicted of their felony charges, the accused could spend substantial time in prison. In that case, a plea bargain in exchange for a reduced sentence, usually negotiated by criminal defense lawyers on behalf of their clients, may be a positive outcome for the accused.

Statistics indicate the nationwide crackdown on illegal drugs has popular support. However, the arrest of the Batavia woman exposes a possible case of entrapment. The case of the young man also poses a sticky question: Did the police have the right, or were they duly authorized, to enter and search his home? Not infrequently, arrested persons have seen drug charges dropped because the process of entrapment can itself fall foul of the law. Likewise, evidence impounded by way of illegal search or seizure has sometimes been disqualified from use during trial.

Felony drug charges are among those that are the most serious and life-ruining. All accused are innocent until proven guilty. For people facing drug charges in New York, legal counsel may be able to provide welcome advice and is usually more than willing to go to bat for individuals facing prosecution.

Source: Democrat and Chronicle, “2 Batavians face felony drug charges,” Victoria E. Freile, Aug. 18, 2011