Interviewer: What’s the percentage that a first time offender when it comes to a drug case will become a second-time offender or more, or repeat offender?
Eric Sachs: It depends on the possession cases and the sale cases, it’s different. I would say on the possession cases most of them, especially nowadays with the alternatives that are out there and the treatment alternatives, probably we have an 80% success rate I don’t think people come back. On the sale, my guess is at least 50% come back because unfortunately there’s money in selling drugs, so a lot of them have been through the system and they’re willing to take whatever punishment and then go back out and do it again.
The ones who sell don’t really use. They understand that drugs will screw up your mind and you can’t think straight. It’s hard to run a business. The drug suppliers, the drug pushers, they don’t do the drugs. They just sell them to other people and make money, and then the other people get in trouble.
Crystal Meth is Growing in Notoriety But Not as Much as Other Crimes in New York
Interviewer: What about meth crimes? Do you see a lot of meth drugs as well?
Eric Sachs: Relatively speaking, we do a lot of them, but it’s not as much as other crimes and it’s not as much out there as there used to be. I think people got the word that a lot of the meth labs were blowing up for a while so it was dangerous to make, and it’s hard to get the components for it. We don’t see as much meth as we used to.
The Qualities to Look For When Retaining an Attorney to Defend Drug Related Charges
Interviewer: When someone is seeking out an attorney to help them for their pending drug case, what sort of attorney, what are some qualities they should be looking for?
Eric Sachs: Most important is you want to find an experienced attorney. What’s an experienced attorney? Somebody who’s been practicing law for many years, as many as possible; number one. Somebody who’s been practicing criminal law for as much of that time as possible, and narrowing the field down, how many people handle these kind of criminal cases over the course of years.
You Need to Have a Practicing Criminal Defense Attorney Representing You
If you have an attorney who’s been practicing but is not a criminal attorney, that’s not your best choice. Whether they’re a former assistant district attorney or a former legal aid attorney, you need somebody who knows the court system, knows the criminal justice system, has been involved in it and is currently doing business in it.
Because again, as these laws change and the treatment programs and sentence alternatives change, if you have an attorney who is not up on it, that could be as detrimental as not having an attorney at all. Clients have to depend on the attorney, and if the attorney does not give you good advice or doesn’t know what’s available, then that’s a failure. Certainly a client needs to interview the attorney as much as the attorney needs to interview the client.
By Eric Sachs