New York criminal defense firm Tilem & Campbell is pleased to report that after years of fierce opposition to New York’s draconian “Rockefeller” drug laws, and after some amendments, passed in 2004, did away with some of the harshest sentences, it now appears that much of the remnants of the Rockefeller Drug laws are going to be repealed. Last week by a more that 2-1 margin, the New York State Assembly passed a bill which would repeal additional provisions of the Rockefeller Drug Laws and which would give Judge’s greater discretion in sentencing drug-offenders to non-jail, treatment programs. These provisions can have a substantial effect on New York Drug cases.
Governor Patterson has already signaled his approval of amending the Rockefeller Drug Laws and with democrats in control of the New York State Senate, it seems that some significant change in New York State Drug laws is all but certain.
As an experienced criminal defense lawyer I have handled numerous drug cases. In addition, as a former prosecutor I have handled hundreds if not thousands of drug cases. In my vast experience, rarely do I see major traffickers getting arrested and often see low level dealers or users get sentenced to many years in prison. What I find surprising is that often then prosecutor, and judge agree that the sentence is to severe but under the law, often the judges and prosecutors are powerless to reduce the sentence.
The proposed law gives more discretion to New York State judges who are often in the best position to determine whether a person should get treatment or go to prison.
At a time when the law is changing, it is most important for people accused of drug crimes and their families to stay in touch with the latest changes in New York Drug laws. Not all lawyers stay abreast of the latest changes in the law, so stay informed. If you have any questions about any Westchester County drug cases, New York City drug cases, federal drug cases in the New York area please contact Tilem & Campbell at 888-ANY-CRIME (888-269-2746)