Charged with Drug Possession in New York?

Get the legal help you need before it is too late!

If you’ve been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substanceor Drug Possession in New York state, you need to be prepared to fight for your legal rights. Our laws are known nationwide as very tough.

If you are facing a drug possession or marijuana possession charge, contact us right away for your free case evaluation.

I Can’t Believe They Charged Me With Drug Possession!

Wrong place at the wrong time? It happens all the time. Under New York drug possession laws, they charge everyone indiscriminately, and hope people just plead out if they don’t have strong evidence that the person is guilty.

But you don’t have to take it. The right lawyer can and will fight NY drug possession charges. And we can win.

For Example:

You are driving a car, your friend is a passenger. You get pulled over. You have no idea that your friend has stashed a half-ounce of cocaine under the front seat and a corner of the bag is in plain-view. The next thing you know, you are being charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. You could go to jail for 3 years.

Being in such a situation can be scary and nerve-wracking. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Can I Beat a Drug Possession Charge?

Yes, there are many legal defense options we can pursue, depending on the facts of your case. If the police failed to follow proper legal & Constitutional police procedures, we can challenge the evidence used against you in court, and file a motion to dismiss.

Even in cases where fighting the charges doesn’t always make sense, we can often alternative sentence options that you can live with

New york state has a number of what are known as “drug courts”. Drug courts exist to help people with addiction problems treat their medical issue, and avoid serious criminal penalties if they are successful.

Drug court require strict adherance to probation requirements, which usually inlude addiction treatment and drug testing. And if you fail, you can be in a lot of trouble. And drug courts aren’t available in all New York state jurisidictions, and don’t apply in all cases.

But for many people, they can be an excellent alternative to help you avoid serious criminal penalties, and get your life back together.

We can discuss the details of any possible drug court option in a free case evaulation.

New York Drug Possession Laws

New York has tough drug laws. Being charged with possession of a controlled substance is quite serious. Many of the drug crime penalties call for lengthy sentences; the larger the amount, the higher the penalty.

What is Drug Possession Under the Law of NY?

Elements of a Drug Possession Charge in New York State

The elements of the crime of drug possession are the same regardless of the amount. What separates a minor possession charge from a major one is the type of drug and amount of drugs found. In other words, the prosecution must prove the same elements apart from the quantity and type of drugs involved.

For every Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance offense, the prosecution must prove the following

  1. the presence of a controlled substance;
  2. that the defendant possessed the substance;
  3. that his/her possession was knowing; and
  4. that his/her possession was unlawful

We can attack each of these key elements as part of your drug possession defense. If the district attorney isn’t sure he can prove each and every element of the charges, your case should be dismissed. If he or she tries at trial, and fails to make a convincing case, you will be found not guilty of drug possession.

Marijuana Possession

Under New York Law, marijuana possession offenses range from is criminal possession of marihuana (CPM) in the first degree, a Class C felony, down to unlawful possession of marijuana (UPM), a violation.

Penalties and charges vary depending on the quantity of pot involved. See my NY marijuana possession defense page for details on penalties and defense strategies.

Cocaine Possession

Possession of cocaine, either powder or crack cocaine, is an aggregate-weight offense, except for criminal possession of a controlled substance (CPCS) in the fifth degree, which is a pure-weight offense.

Charges and penalties for cocaine possession in New York range from Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First (1st) Degree, an A1 Felony, down to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth (5th) Degree, a D Non Violent Felony.

See my page on NY Cocaine possession laws.

Heroin Possession

Possession of heroin is an aggregate-weight offense. There is no fifth-degree offense for this drug.

Charges and penalties for heroin possession in New York range from Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First (1st) Degree, an A1 Felony, down to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the forth (4th) Degree, a C Non Violent Felony.

See our NY Heroin Possession Law & Penalties page.

LSD Possession

Possession of LSD is a pure-weight offense. There is no first-degree or fifth-degree offense for this drug.

Charges and penalties for LSD/Acid possession in New York range from Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second (2nd) Degree, an A2 Felony, down to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the forth (4th) Degree, a C Non Violent Felony.

Methadone Possession

Possession of methadone is a pure-weight offense. There is no third-degree or fifth-degree offense for this drug.

Charges and penalties for heroin possession in New York range from Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First (1st) Degree, an A1 Felony, down to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the forth (4th) Degree, a C Non Violent Felony.

Methamphetamine (Meth) Possession

Possession of methamphetamine is an aggregate-weight offense. There is no first-degree or fifth-degree offense for this drug.

Charges and penalties for Methamphetamine possession in New York range from Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second (2nd) Degree, an A2 Felony, down to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the forth (4th) Degree, a C Non Violent Felony.

See out NY meth possession page.

NY Criminal Drug Possession Quantities & Penalties Chart

The drug possession crimes listed below are arranged from most to lease serious (A1 Felony, A2 Felony, B Non-Violent Felonies, etc.).

Please refer to the page on NY criminal sentencing to get an idea about what the punishment would be for each particular crime.

Charge – NY Penal Code Classification Amount
Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree – 220.21 A1 Felony
  • Possession of 8 or more ounces of Cocaine
  • Possession of 8 or more ounces of Heroin
  • Possession of 5,760 milligrams or more of Methadone
  • Possession of 8 or more ounces of a Narcotic Drug
Criminal Possession of a Controlled substance in the Second Degree – 220.18 A2 Felony
  • Possession of between 4 and 7.9 ounces of Cocaine
  • Possession of between 4 and 7.9 ounces of Heroin
  • Possession of 25 milligrams or more of LSD
  • Possession of between 2,880 and 5,759 milligrams of Methadone
  • Possession of 2 or more ounces of Methemphetamine
Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree – 220.16 B Non-Violent Felony
  • Possession of between 0.5 and 3.9 ounces of Cocaine
  • Possession of between 0.5 and 3.9 ounces of Heroin
  • Possession of any amount of Cocaine with the Intent to Sell it
  • Possession of any amount of Heroin with the Intent to Sell it
  • Possession of any amount of LSD with the Intent to Sell it, and a previous conviction for an Article 220 offense or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense
  • Possession of between 5 and 24.9 milligrams of LSD
  • Possession of 0.125 or more ounces of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Sell it.
Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree – 220.09 C Non-Violent Felony
  • Possession of between 0.125 and 0.49 ounces of Cocaine
  • Possession of between 0.125 and 0.49 ounces of Heroin
  • Possession of between 1 and 4.9 milligrams of LSD
  • Possession of between 360 and 2,879 milligrams of Methadone
  • Possession of between 0.5 and 1.9 ounces of Methamphetamine
Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree 220.06 D Non-Violent Possession of between 500 milligrams and 0.125 ounces of Cocaine
Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree – 220.03 A Misdemeanor No specified amount. Any measurable amount lower than those listed as a 4th or 5th degree offense.

Note: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 6th degree was repealed by the New York legislature.

Drug Type Classifications

Drug Schedules

New York has created a Drug Schedule of Controlled Substances. Drugs are categorized according to their potential for abuse, medical value and type. Drug schedule classifications are based on federal drug law guidelines. Schedule 1 drugs are the most serious, while Schedule 5 drugs are the least serious.  All substances are listed in New York Public Health Law § 3306. Schedules of controlled substances.

Schedule 1 – these substances are the most addictive and have not been accepted for medical use.

Schedule 2 – these substances are highly addictive but may have some accepted medical use.

Schedule 3 – these substances are addictive in that they have potential for physical and/or psychological dependence, but they are widely and regularly used for medical purposes.

Schedule 4 – these substances include sedatives, tranquilizers, and other depressants

Schedule 5 – these substances include cough medicines, etc.

Drug Types

New York’s drug possession penalties are categorized by the class of the controlled substances in many cases. The following are a few examples of some of these drug classes:

Narcotic Drug – any controlled substance listed in schedule 1(b), 1(c), 2(b) or 2(c), other than Methadone. Examples include Heroin, LSD, Raw Opium, Codeine, Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Dillaudid, Morphine, Oxycodone, and Demerol.

Narcotic Preparation – any controlled substance listed in schedule 3(d) or 3(e). One example is Nalorphine.

Hallucinogen – any controlled substance listed in schedule 1(d)(5), (18) through (22). Examples— Psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms)

Hallucinogenic Substance – any controlled substance listed in schedule 1(d) other than Concentrated Cannabis, LSD or a Hallucinogen. Examples— Mescaline, Peyote, MDMA (ecstacy), DMT (Dimethyltryptamine)

Stimulant – any controlled substance listed in 1(f) or 2(d. Examples— Captagon (fenethylline), Aminorex, Cathinone, Adderall, Dexadrine, Ritalin/Concerta, Methamphetamine

Dangerous Depressant – any controlled substance listed in schedule 1(e)(2) or (3), 2(e), 3(c)(3), 4(C)(2), (31), (32) or (40).

Examples— Quaaludes, PCP/Angel Dust, Amobarbital, Doriden, Nembutal, Seconal, Veronal, Brevital, Mebaral, Luminal

Depressant – any controlled substance listed in schedule 4(c) except (c)(2), (31), (32), or (40).

Examples— Xanax, Paxor, Klonopin, Tranxene, Sepazon, Valium, (Diazepam) Eurodim, Dalmane, Sonin (Loprazolam), Nobrium (Medazepam), Erimin, Serapax, (Oxazepam), Cetrax (Parazepam), Halcion (Triazolam), Doral, Ambien (Zolpidem)

 

Free Consultation on New York Drug Possession Laws & Penalties

If you’ve been arrested for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in New York, call us anytime for a legal consultation and case evaluation. We’ll answer your questions about what you are facing, let you know exactly what we can do to help you, talk about possible penalties if you are found guilty, and exactly what it will cost to hire us to defend you in court. There’s no obligation, so contact us right away.

(888) 435-4744

The Lawyers of NewYork-Defense-Lawyer.com

 

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