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Nassau County Criminal Defense Law Blog

What is a Schedule II drug?

The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) classifies all drugs -- including pharmaceutical drugs -- via a specific series of "schedules." These schedules start with Schedule I, which the federal government believes to be the most addictive, dangerous and without medical use, and ends in Schedule V, which are the mildest and least harmful of the drugs. Here, we will focus specifically on Schedule II drugs and the substances found in this category.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Schedule II drugs come with the high potential for abuse, but not as high as Schedule I. While many of these drugs may have a medical purpose, they also have the possibility of causing a severe physical or psychological dependency. The federal government considers these drugs to be "dangerous." They include both illicit and pharmaceutical substances:

  • Drugs that contain under 15 milligrams of hydrocodone in each dose
  • Cocaine and cocaine-derived substances
  • Meth
  • Methadone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Meperidine
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Dexedrine
  • Adderall
  • Ritalin

Police say they found 2 suitcases of drugs after shots fired

Federal agents discharged their firearms while trying to apprehend a suspect along West Side Highway on a recent Thursday afternoon. Authorities say that it was part of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) heroin crimes operation.

When the shots were fired, DEA agents were pursuing a Jeep Cherokee in the direction of Manhattan when they stopped the driver at 47th and 12th, near the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum. After the suspect made some sudden movements, the agents decided to open fire, allegedly to protect themselves and the public.

Manhattan judge vacates 3,042 drug-related arrest warrants

A Manhattan judge decided to throw out over 3,000 marijuana crime cases after a top prosecutor moved to vacate them last Wednesday. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., submitted the motion to vacate 3,042 arrest warrants related to marijuana possession and marijuana smoking. Some of these warrants are so old that they were issued in 1978.

According to the DA who moved to vacate the warrants, the judge's agreement to toss out the cases will alleviate an unnecessary burden on prosecutors so that they can refocus on more important legal matters. It will also allow 3,042 individuals to rest easier at night, knowing that there isn't a current warrant out for their arrests.

What are the penalties for petit larceny shoplifting in New York?

It is important to not underestimate the seriousness of being accused of shoplifting. Shoplifting is a crime and accusations of it can lead to a person facing charges.

A common type of charge that can come out of allegations of shoplifting here in New York is petit larceny. Under New York law, most thefts of $1,000 or less fall under the category of petit larceny. Unlike grand larceny, petit larceny is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

Social media posts can derail a criminal defense

Social media use is a common practice with the onset of new avenues for communication including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. It’s not uncommon to see friends and family post about both positive and negative developments in their lives.

What if someone charged with a crime starts venting about the process and airing their grievances? A good criminal defense attorney should tell all clients the same warning: anything you post online prior to or during a trial can influence and potentially damage the case.

Are sobriety checkpoints legal?

Summertime means time off for festive holidays (July 4th anyone?), family vacations and time spent out on the boat. These activities often involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages, prompting many law enforcement agencies - including those in Nassau County - to increase patrols for DWI.

One way law enforcement has traditionally handled DWI enforcement is through the use of sobriety checkpoints, especially around prominent summer holidays like July 4th (Independence Day), Labor Day weekend and Memorial Day weekend. And while DWI checkpoints have been used for years at this point, many still question their legality.

Field sobriety testing for intoxication can be misinterpreted

When a law enforcement official pulls over a New York driver because they suspect the driver has alcohol in their system, they may ask the driver to get out of their vehicle and to perform certain physical tests. These physical tests are not difficult for individuals of normal physical and mental capacities but for those who are intoxicated completion of them may be difficult. However, intoxication is not the only reason that a person may fail a field sobriety test.

For example, an officer may ask a driver to walk in a straight line and execute a clean turn before returning back to the point where they started. During the test the officer may watch for loss of balance, uncoordinated movements and other signs that alcohol is impairing the individual before them. Certain medical conditions can affect drivers' balance and without a drop of alcohol in their system a driver may fail a test such as this because they suffer from a medical condition.

Can I drive with prescription painkillers?

Some individuals believe they receive less punishment if a cop stops them for driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Since they are taking something that the doctor recommends, they think the rules towards driving under the influence should not apply as heavily to them.

In New York, that is not the case. The law states that you cannot drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, regardless if they are prescription or not. Many prescription drugs can impair your ability to drive. They can make you drowsy and cause you to lose focus and reaction time. Cops will be on high alert for any signs of suspicious driving in a congested state like New York.

What is a search warrant?

Readers of this New York criminal defense legal blog are asked to imagine the following situation. An individual is sitting at home watching television and suddenly there is a knock at their door. When they open it, they find a number of police officers standing before them who claim that they will be searching the premises of the individual's home. They do not provide the individual with any explanation of why they are taking such action.

What is criminal battery?

Criminal charges of all forms can be damaging to the reputations and futures of the individuals who must face them. Those who are forced to confront erroneous charges are encouraged to seek out legal guidance from individuals who can give them case-specific advice. While this New York criminal defense legal blog does not provide advice on the topic of battery, readers may use the contents of this post as a place to introduce themselves to this specific criminal charge.

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Lerner & Lerner, P.C.

Former prosecutors with more than 50 years of combined experience

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