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December 12, 2014

Heroin Use And Arrests On The Rise In Westchester County

By Michael H. Joseph

Our White Plains criminal lawyers and all criminal defense attorneys have seen a rise in arrests for both possession of heroin and drug sales of heroin throughout Westchester County. In particular there have been recent highly publicized heroin raids and arrests of heroin sale rings in Port Chester, Yonkers, Peekskill and New Rochelle. These include both organized drug rings and heroin which is smuggled through airline employees and even package routes, where common carriers like federal express and U.P.S. are being used to ship disguised packages of heroin.

This week New York’s Governor Cuomo signed twelve new laws which are aimed to combat the increasing rise of heroin in New York.The laws include new programs to spread awareness of the dangers of heroin, harsher penalties for heroin dealers and improved treatment options for addicts. This carrot and stick approach seeks to deter people from selling heroin, while simultaneously recognizing the difficulties addicts face once they try heroin. Heroin is a highly addictive drug that often turns addicts into dealers to support their habits. Fortunately, Westchester has an active drug court diversion program that recognizes the difficulties that addicts face and is geared towards treatment and not punishment. This program, for which any defendant charged with heroin offenses, including possession, felony level possession and sale of heroin can apply, focuses on treatment and is successful, the defendant can avoid a criminal record.

For any parent in the hudson valley, having a child with a heroin problem can be a nightmare. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have saved many addicts by helping them get into treatment and avoiding the harsh results of a criminal prosecution. If your child has been arrested for a heroin related offense, our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys can be a tremendous help. While most people think of Westchester as an upper middle class community without the problems of the inner city, heroin is becoming a harsh and disruptive reality in Westchester’s towns. According to the New York State Department of Health heroin overdoses in New York doubled between 2008 and 2012. In fact, this year seventy five people died from overdoses in the Hudson Valley. In recent months teens have died from heroin overdoses in unlikely towns such as Dobbs Ferry, Putnam, and Cortland. In the last several years Rockland County has seen over a dozen deaths from heroin overdoses. The Center for Disease Control stated at a heroin forum held in Chappaqua this week that the heroin epidemic the worst in United States history. This is a strong statement considering the carnage that heroin brought in New York City in the 1970s. At present it is estimated that throughout Westchester there are approximately 3,000 addicts attempting to get clean and break their heroin addictions.

Our experienced White Plains criminal defense lawyers have defended many cases of drug possession and sale, including heroin and have brought good outcomes to bad situations on many occasions. If your child has been arrested and is facing charges of either drug possession or sale of a controlled substance, our attorneys can help.

 
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