Manhattan Criminal Court Limits Accessory Liability In Marijuana Sale Case By Michael Joseph on October 28, 2013

Our New York City criminal defense lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of all persons charged in marijuana cases.

In a recent dismissal the New York County Criminal Court in Manhattan, the Judge dismissed accessory charges against a defendant who it was alleged received money from another who actually sold marijuana to an undercover officer. The Manhattan criminal Court held that a person’s mere presence, even with an awareness of a crime occurring, was insufficient to establish accomplice liability. The Criminal Court went on to hold that simply accepting marijuana sale proceeds from a seller was not enough to hold the defendant responsible for the sale as an accomplice to the marijuana sale. The Court held that to establish accessory liability, there must be facts sufficient to establish that the defendant acted in concert with the individual who actually sold the marijuana to sell marijuana. Simply stated, just being present when the sale occurred or even receiving the proceeds of the sale was not enough to impose criminal liability.

Our New York City and Westchester criminal lawyers have successfully defended numerous cases which alleged accessory liability or acting in concert in drug and marijuana sale cases and possession with intent to sell cases. All too often the New York Police Department, the Yonkers police, the Mt. Vernon police, the New Rochelle police and the White Plains police, just assume without proof that everyone who is present when a hand to hand drug deal occurs are involved in the transaction. This often results in arrests of individuals who have not committed a crime and for whom there is no criminal liability. in one case, we had a client who was walking his dog and happened to pass by the area when the drug sale occurred and our client was charged as a look out, for just being near the drug sale. These speculative assumptions, often result in innocent people being arrested. In New York City, this is especially damaging because any arrest is often a twelve to twenty four hour ordeal of sitting in holding cells before an accused even sees a judge. Then, because drug sale cases most likely involve felony charges, the criminal judges in New York and Westchester often set bail, which means that an accused can sit in jail until someone posts bail or hires a bail bondsman on their behalf. This means that even the flimsiest charge of acting in concert in a drug sale case can cause serious damage to a person’s life. Our New York City and White Plains narcotic defense lawyers will continue to fight these cases.

From our Manhattan office, our New York City criminal defense lawyers fight drug possession and drug sale cases in Manhattan and the Bronx. From our Queens office, our Queens criminal defense lawyers fight drug sale charges that arise all over Queens, including Jamaica, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Long Island City, Astoria, Far Rockaway, Richmond Hill, Rego Park and Briarwood. From our Westchester office, our White Plains criminal defense lawyers fight drug cases from White Plains, Yonkers, Rockland, New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon, Mt. Pleasant, Valhalla, Scarsdale, Port Chester, Rye, Elmsford, Greenburgh and Mamaroneck.

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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

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