Possession of a Controlled Substance in New York

by ECL Writer
Drug Possession Penalties In New York

The possession of a controlled substance is a serious offense in New York, with potential consequences that can range from fines and probation to lengthy prison sentences. New York’s drug laws are notoriously strict, and being charged with possession of a controlled substance can have life-altering consequences for individuals and their families. This Eastcoastlaws.com article will explore the possession of a controlled substance in New York law, the laws surrounding their possession, and the potential penalties for those convicted. We will also examine possible defenses and alternative sentencing options for those facing drug charges in New York. Whether you or someone you know is currently facing drug charges or you simply want to better understand New York’s drug laws, this article will provide valuable insights into the possession of a controlled substance in the state.

How New York Classifies CDS

CDS is divided into five “Schedules” in New York. The most harmful substances, with a high likelihood of abuse and addiction and no proven medical benefit, are listed in Schedule I. Classes II, III, IV, and V are less harmful and more likely to be abused while having more accepted medical purposes.

If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS possession, you’ll need to consult the New York Code which lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (N.Y. Pub. Health Law § 3306 and following) and find the substance you’re charged with selling — it will be listed under one of the five schedules.

What Are The Drug Laws In NY?

Consciously possessing illegal narcotics including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, and marijuana is against federal and state law. The regulations also make it illegal to have “precursor chemicals” in your possession that are utilized in manufacture.

One of the most frequent crimes in New York is drug possession. Illegal narcotics are frequently in the possession of people of all ages and all classes for their own individual usage. Although some people contend that having a modest amount of narcotics for personal use shouldn’t be viewed as a significant felony, this is not the case in New York. Even for some misdemeanor drug possession offenses, you risk going to jail and getting a criminal record if you are found guilty.

If you have been accused of drug possession, you should take the issue very seriously and get in touch with a skilled New York drug possession attorney right away so they can mount a vigorous defense on your behalf.

Drug Possession Crimes In New York

Drug possession, as defined by New York law, can refer to the possession of any number of narcotics designated as restricted substances. Cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, club drugs, OxyContin, and other illegally obtained prescription opiates are all considered controlled substances for the purposes of a drug possession accusation. The term “drug possession” can also refer to marijuana possession.

Only one of the six drug possession offenses—criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree—is a misdemeanor. If you have even a small amount of a controlled substance, you could be charged. That is a misdemeanor of Class A. New York Penal Statute 220.03. Depending on the drug, if you have more than a certain minimal amount, you may be charged with felony criminal possession rather than criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Some situations, including the illegal possession of anabolic steroids, result in a misdemeanor penalty for possession of any quantity. Possession of drugs in a crime is charged as follows:

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree

Possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell it; having at least 1/2 ounce of a narcotic preparation; 50 milligrams or more of PCP; 1/4 ounce or more of a cannabis concentrate; 500 milligrams or more of cocaine; 1,000 milligrams or more of ketamine; having any amount of ketamine if you’ve been convicted of ketamine possession before; or having at least 28 grams of GHB. It is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.06

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree

Involves possessing at least 1/8 ounce of narcotic drug preparations; at least 1/2 ounce of methamphetamine preparations; at least 2 ounces of narcotic preparations; at least 1 gram of a stimulant; at least 1 milligram of a lysergic acid diethylamide; at least 25 milligrams of a hallucinogen; at least 1 gram of a hallucinogenic substance; at least 10 ounces of a dangerous depressant; at least 2 pounds of a depressant; at least 1 ounce of concentrated cannabis; at least 250 milligrams of PCP; at least 60 milligrams of methadone; at least 50 milligrams of PCP and you were previously convicted of a controlled substance offense; at least 4,000 milligrams of ketamine; any amount of ketamine if you have a previous possession of ketamine conviction; or possessing at least 200 grams of GHB. It is a Class C felony.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree

It is the charge you will face if you possess a narcotic drug; or you possess a stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or lysergic acid diethylamide drug with the intent to sell it and you have already been convicted of a controlled substance offense; or you possess at least 1 gram of a stimulant, at least 1 milligram of a lysergic acid diethylamide, at least 25 milligrams of a hallucinogen, or at least 1 gram of a hallucinogenic substance with the intent to sell; or you possess at least 1/8 ounce of methamphetamine preparations, at least 5 grams of a stimulant; at least 5 milligrams of a lysergic acid diethylamide; at least 125 milligrams of a hallucinogen; at least 5 grams of a hallucinogenic substance; at least .5 ounce of a narcotic drug preparation; or at least 1,250 milligrams of PCP. It is a Class B felony

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree

Involves having 4 ounces or more of narcotic drug preparations, 2 ounces or more of methamphetamine preparations, 10 grams or more of a stimulant, 25 milligrams or more of lysergic acid diethylamide, 625 milligrams or more of a hallucinogen, 25 grams or more of a hallucinogenic substance, or 2,880 milligrams or more of methadone. It is a Class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.18

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree

It is the most serious drug possession crime. You will face this charge if you possess a minimum of 8 ounces of narcotic drug preparations or at least 5,760 milligrams of methadone. It is a Class A-I felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.21

Marijuana Possession Offenses In New York

There are six additional marijuana possession offenses. Marijuana possession is seen as less serious than the possession of a controlled substance. One marijuana possession accusation is therefore only a violation, while the other two are misdemeanors.

Unlawful possession of marijuana 

It involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana. It is a violation. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.05

Criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree 

It involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana in a public place and burning it or displaying it in public view. It also involves possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 25 grams. It is a Class B misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.10

Criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree 

It involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 2 ounces. It is a Class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.15

Criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree 

It involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 8 ounces. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.20

Criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree 

It involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 16 ounces. It is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.25

Criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree 

It involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 10 pounds. It is a Class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.30

Sentencing For Possession Of A Controlled Substance In New York

The maximum punishment for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, which is a Class A-1 felony, is up to life in prison. The sentence for a conviction for a drug crime varies depending on the categorization of the drug offense. Convictions for drug possession also result in the following punishments:

Violation

Possession of marijuana without a license is the only drug possession allegation that constitutes a violation. An up to $100 fine is the sanction. The fine could be up to $200 if it’s your second conviction for this crime in the last three years. If this is your third offense, you might be subject to a $250 fine or 15 days in jail.

Class B misdemeanor

The maximum punishment is a fine of $500 and a prison term of up to 3 months. Fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor.

Class A misdemeanor

One year in prison and a fine up to $1,000 are the harshest penalties that can be imposed. Cannabis possession in the fourth degree and the criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree are both Class A misdemeanors.

Class E felony

The maximum possible sentence is 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree is a Class E felony.

Class D felony

The maximum possible sentence is 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree and criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree are Class D felonies.

Class C felony

The maximum possible sentence is 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree are Class C felonies.

Class B felony

The maximum possible sentence is 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree is a Class B felony.

Class A-II felony

The maximum possible sentence is life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree is a Class A-II felony.

Class A-I felony

The maximum possible sentence is life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is a Class A-I felony.

Alternative Sentencing Programs For First Offenders

Drug Treatment Court is a unique alternative sentencing scheme in New York. You may qualify for the Drug Treatment Court program if you have a substance addiction issue and are arrested for a drug possession offense that is a Class B, C, D, or E felony. The outcome of the criminal case against you will change if you successfully complete the program. The judge will have a number of choices available to him or her, including lowering or even dropping the accusations brought against you.

Important Information About Possession Laws In New York

Simple ownership is illegal. Simple possession or possession for personal use does not exist. It is illegal to possess a controlled substance at any time. It is not necessary to exchange one. It is a crime even if there is just one tab, baggie, glass, or hit. Abuse of prescription drugs is not a more serious offense. Certain prescription medications might result in crimes. If someone is selling or in possession of drugs they are not authorized to have, they do not have a prescription for them, and they are not entitled to them. They cannot simply take something out of a cabinet where they or a family member hold it and sell it to someone. They also cannot take anything from another person’s cabinet because doing so is illegal.

Mistakes To Avoid

Why? Although it’s possible that the offender isn’t actively harming anyone, authorities have observed everything from the harvesting and processing of the drugs to the violence, frequent sex abuse, prostitution, and other aspects of the drug trade that wind up in their possession. Law enforcement, DAs, prosecutors, police, and jurors may think that by stopping the end user and reducing demands, they can also reduce supply.

Defense To Possession Of A Controlled Substance In New York

There are several possible defenses to the charge of possession of a controlled substance in New York, including:

  • Unlawful search and seizure: If the drugs were found during an illegal search or seizure by law enforcement, the evidence may be suppressed and the case dismissed.
  • Lack of knowledge or intent: If the defendant was not aware that the substance was a controlled substance, or did not intend to possess it, they may have a defense. For example, if the drugs were left in a car or home by someone else without the defendant’s knowledge or consent.
  • Prescription: If the defendant had a valid prescription for the controlled substance, they may have a defense. However, it is important to note that there are strict requirements for the possession of prescription drugs, and any violation of those requirements could still result in a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
  • Laboratory analysis: The prosecution must prove that the substance in question is a controlled substance. If the defendant can challenge the laboratory analysis, or if the substance was not properly tested or stored, it may be possible to challenge the charge.
  • Entrapment: If the defendant was induced by law enforcement to commit the crime, they may have a defense of entrapment.

It is important to note that each case is unique, and the availability of defenses will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. It is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in drug possession cases to determine the best defense strategy for your case.

Benefits Of A Lawyer

Being accused of drug possession is challenging enough without the weight of potential punishments hanging over your head. Having a New York drug lawyer on your side is essential since the pressure can be intense. You can fight against New York drug possession charges with the help of an experienced attorney.

Leave a Comment

This blog is ONLY for informational or educational purposes and DOES NOT substitute professional legal advise. We take no responsibility or credit for what you do with this info.