The possession of controlled substances is a serious crime that can carry severe consequences in the state of New York. Criminal possession in the fourth degree of a controlled substance is one of the most common drug offenses in New York, and it is defined in the New York Penal Code § 220.09. This crime involves knowingly possessing a controlled substance, such as heroin, cocaine, or prescription drugs, without a valid prescription or legal authority to do so.
If you are charged with criminal possession in the fourth degree of a controlled substance in New York, you could be facing significant legal penalties, including fines, probation, and even jail time. Additionally, a criminal record can have long-lasting effects on your life, including limiting your employment opportunities and potentially affecting your ability to obtain housing or credit.
Therefore, it is essential to understand the New York Penal Code § 220.09 and the consequences of violating this law. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will provide an overview of criminal possession in the fourth degree of a controlled substance in New York, including the elements of the crime, potential penalties, and defenses available to those who are facing charges.
One of the many drug possession offenses listed in the Penal Code of New York is criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, phencyclidine, ketamine, methadone, lysergic acid diethylamide, a hallucinogen; methamphetamine, a stimulant; or narcotics are among the illegal regulated substances. The applicable penal code and the accompanying punishments are determined by the quantity of a certain restricted substance discovered in a person’s possession. The sixth or seventh degrees of criminal possession may be used in place of the fourth if a person has fewer than the statutory minimum amounts needed for criminal possession in the fourth degree of a controlled substance in their possession.
NY Penal Code § 220.09: Criminal Possession In The Fourth Degree Of A Controlled Substance
Criminal possession in the fourth degree of a controlled substance is when a culpable person unlawfully and knowingly is in possession of
- A one-eighth ounce or more of one or more substances, mixtures, compounds, or preparations containing a narcotic drug; or
- A one-half ounce or more of one or more substances, mixtures, compounds, or preparations containing methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers; or
- Two ounces or more of one or more substances, mixtures, compounds, preparations containing a narcotic preparation; or
- One gram or more of a stimulant; or
- One milligram or more of lysergic acid diethylamide; or
- Twenty-five milligrams or more of a hallucinogen; or
- One gram or more of a hallucinogenic substance; or
- Ten ounces or more of a dangerous depressant; or
- Two pounds or more of a depressant; or
- One ounce or more of one or more substances, mixtures, compounds, preparations containing concentrated cannabis per Section 3302 of the public health law; or
- Two hundred fifty milligrams or more of phencyclidine; or
- Three hundred sixty milligrams or more of methadone; or
- Fifty milligrams or more of phencyclidine and the intent to sell the drug is evident plus a previous conviction of an offense or the attempt or conspiracy to commit such offense is evident; or
- Four thousand milligrams or more of ketamine; or
- Two hundred grams or more of substances, mixtures, compounds, preparations containing gamma-hydroxybutyric acid as described in Section 3306 of the public health law.
Penalties And Sentencing For Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In The Fourth Degree
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree carries a Class C felony sentence. The maximum prison penalty is fifteen years. Depending on whether the convicted had a prior felony conviction, the sentence for someone who has never had a criminal record might be as little as three and a half years or as long as seven years.
An additional fine of up to $15,000 may also be handed down.
Defenses To Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In The Fourth Degree
Lack of probable cause
According to New York law, there must be probable cause before a search can be conducted. Before taking further action, the police must have probable cause to think that someone has committed a crime. Likewise, they must acquire a search warrant or other legal authorization before conducting a search. For instance, if you are not breaking any traffic regulations or there is no indication that you were involved in illegal behavior, the police may not stop you while you are driving.
In this scenario, deviating from protocol and failing to follow due process would compromise the prosecutor’s ability to file charges. If the police pull you over and discover controlled substances in your car or on your person but have no reason to believe that a crime has been committed or any traffic laws have been broken in the past.
Other lines of defense
When deciding which defensive strategies to take, an accomplished defense lawyer who is knowledgeable about controlled substance legislation will sort through the available evidence. A skilled lawyer can create a strategy to zealously represent the defendant after carefully analyzing the evidence.
Examples Of Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In The Fourth Degree Cases
What if someone was operating a car that had been heavily customized? It might have hydro lifts, chrome wheels and tailpipes, a fiberglass body with air vents, a roll bar, and a stabilizer bar. The driver of the custom vehicle wasn’t speeding, swerving, or otherwise violating the law. However, the policeman pulled the automobile stopped because he thought his modified vehicle was strange. When the police searched the vehicle, they discovered six cocaine vials under the driver’s seat. The driver was detained by the policeman and accused of illegally possessing a prohibited substance.
The motorist could contend that there was no probable cause for the officer to stop him and search his car because he was not breaking any laws when the officer pulled him over. The driver may avoid prosecution if the court rules that there wasn’t probable cause when the officer pulled the motorist over. If there was no probable cause for the stop, it would be illegal for the officer to stop the driver, and whatever drugs they found would not be admissible in court.
Legal Representation For Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In The Fourth Degree
The criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree is a serious crime in New York that can result in severe legal consequences. If you are facing charges related to the sale of controlled substances, it is crucial to seek legal representation immediately. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights, evaluate the evidence against you, and build a strong defense strategy.
In New York, the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree is defined in the Penal Law Section 220.34. This crime involves knowingly selling a controlled substance, such as heroin, cocaine, or prescription drugs, to another person without a valid prescription or legal authority to do so.
The penalties for the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree in New York can be severe, including fines, probation, and even imprisonment. The severity of the punishment will depend on several factors, including the type and amount of the controlled substance involved in the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal record.
If you are facing charges related to the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, it is important to remember that you have the right to legal representation. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the evidence against you, challenge any illegal search or seizure, and negotiate with prosecutors to obtain a more favorable outcome.
In conclusion, facing charges related to the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree is a serious matter that requires the expertise of a criminal defense attorney. With the right legal representation, you can protect your rights, fight for your freedom, and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.