Drug charges in New York are serious business. Many communities have established drug task forces, such as the Dutchess County Drug Task Force (DCDTF), to deal with the problem of the sale and use of illegal drugs. There is little doubt that drugs contribute to crime and are the cause of many automobile and other accidents. While the moniker “drug task force” is impressive, it is simply a police agency focusing on a perceived problem. A member of a task force is subject to the same rules and procedures that govern the conduct of all police officers investigating and processing drug charges in our state.

The DCDTF recently issued a press release stating it had arrested a 35-year-old Beacon, New York man following a two-month investigation. The man was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, which is a Class B felony. Police stopped the man’s car on Main Street at about 7:30 p.m. He was taken into custody on an active probation warrant from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and a search was conducted. Police allege they found cocaine on the man, as well as a cell phone, cash and “related materials.”

The man’s car was seized and his home was subsequently searched. No additional drugs were found, though police confiscated what they called “drug packaging material.” The man was remanded to the Dutchess County Jail without bail because of a claimed prior felony conviction. He was due in court the following day.

Conviction for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance essentially requires that an individual knowingly and intentionally possessed a narcotic drug with the intent to sell it. The DCDTF did not disclose any information as to whether there was intent to sell.

Nevertheless, the individual will need to focus his attention on the charges pending against him, particularly in view of the fact he may have a prior felony conviction. Because consequences for conviction are severe, a vigorous defense is required. A New York attorney focused on helping people accused of drug charges may offer some guidance and support to a person fighting for his freedom.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, “Police charge Beacon man for drug possession,” Poughkeepsie Journal Staff, Aug. 16, 2011