Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Possession in New York

Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Possession in New York

Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Possession in New York

Criminal drug possession is one of the more serious crimes that an individual can be accused of.  Drug crimes will tarnish your record, prevent you from getting certain jobs, and will result in both monetary fines and limitations on certain rights.

If you or a loved one was arrested in New York for a drug possession crime, or are currently being investigated for a drug related crime, then contact the Sullivan & Galleshaw law firm immediately.  We work hard to make sure our clients receive favorable outcomes in their cases.  Our attorneys work tirelessly for every single client, and represent him or her to the fullest extent that the law offers, no matter the criminal charge or underlying crime in the case.

Drug Possession New York

In order to obtain a drug possession conviction in New York, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of a drug possession crime.  Those elements include the fact that the drug was a controlled substance, that the defendant knowingly possessed the substance, and that the physical possession was unlawful.

Drug laboratory: blue methamphetamine and money on table close u

A defendant’s possession of the illegal controlled substance may be either physical or constructive for the requisite drug possession charges.  Constructive possession aims at control over possession of the controlled substance, whether that be on someone else’s person or in a physical place.

How is Drug Possession Defined in New York?

In New York, one definition of drug possession is as follows:

The presence of a narcotic drug, narcotic preparation, marihuana or phencyclidine in open view in a room, other than a public place, under circumstances evincing an intent to unlawfully mix, compound, package or otherwise prepare for sale such controlled substance is presumptive evidence of knowing possession thereof by each and every person in close proximity to such controlled substance at the time such controlled substance was found.

New York divides controlled substances into 5 different categories.  These are known as the “Schedules.”  Schedule I controlled substances are the most dangerous illegal substances and therefore come with the harshest penalties.  The Schedule of drug possession ranges from Schedule 1 to Schedule 5.  As the schedule number increases on the possession of the narcotic, the probability increases in regards to dangerousness and addictiveness of that drug.

Drug Possession Penalties and Sentences

In New York, drug possession penalties are quite harsh.  Many even consider New York to have the harshest drug possession laws in the United States.  The reason for these harsh sentences and penalty guidelines is because of the drug wars that raged in New York in the 1970s and 1980s.  This set a precedent for the New York legislature to crackdown on criminal possession of unlawful substances.

Once a prosecutor is able to obtain a drug possession charge by proving the elements of a crime, then the convicted defendant will be faced with criminal penalties and sentences.  A defendant convicted of a class A-1 felony may be sentenced for up to 20 years of imprisonment.  The defendant may also face up to a $100,000 fine.  Class A-1 felonies are the most serious drug possession crimes to be accused of.  Typically, class A-1 drug possession felonies consist of possession of eight or more ounces of substances containing a narcotic drug or a substance sold as a narcotic drug, or 5,760 milligrams of methadone.  Methadone is a synthetic analgesic drug that is similar to morphine, but is longer acting and used as a substitute drug in the treatment of morphine or heroin addiction.

There are numerous lesser convictions under the New York Penal Code and drug possession laws.  Those lesser convictions consist of class B to class E felonies.  These types of felonies range anywhere from one year to 9 years of incarceration.  In terms of criminal fines, drug possession felonies up to class B may contain a penalty of up to $30,000.

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Sullivan & Galleshaw, Criminal Defense Lawyers You Can Trust

If you or a loved one has been arrested under drug possession charges in New York, then you need to contact our law firm right away.  The time that you may have to assert a defense against a drug possession charge may be running out.  Every single day matters for drug possession criminal charges, because as the date of the incident and/or arrest gets further away, the evidence that may help your case becomes less and less valuable.

In order to secure the best outcome for your case, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Sullivan & Galleshaw today.  If you or a loved one has been arrested under drug possession charges, you have an absolute right to an attorney to defend you in your case.  To schedule a free and confidential consultation with the experienced criminal defense lawyers of Sullivan & Galleshaw call 800-730-0135 or contact us online today.