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Penalties for Drug Possession in New York


Drug possession charges can result in harsh penalties that can impact the rest of your life. However, not all drugs are treated the same by prosecutors. The possession of marijuana is treated very differently compared to the possession of a controlled substance, such as heroin or cocaine. 

In New York, individuals can be convicted of the possession of marijuana or possession of a controlled substance. The penalties for both of these charges can vary depending on the amount of marijuana or illegal substance found by the police. 

There are six different levels of drug possession under state law. Individuals can be charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, which is a class A-1 felony and will carry harsher penalties. A class A-1 felony is the possession of eight or more ounces of a narcotic drug or 5,760 milligrams of methadone. First-degree possession of marijuana is a class C felony, while possession of marijuana is only a violation. 

What are the penalties for possession illegal substances? Listed below are the penalties associated with marijuana possession and possession of a controlled substance:

  • Marijuana possession: fine less than $250 and no more than 15 days in prison
  • Class A-1 felony: fine up to $100,000 and eight to 20 years in prison
  • Class B to class E felonies: fine between $15,000 to $30,000 for class B and class C felonies, and one year to nine years in prison

Individuals charged with class B to class E felonies may be able to have their charges dismissed or have their sentence reduced if they complete a drug treatment program and complete additional requirements. 

The conviction of a drug charge can have serious repercussions on the rest of your life. It is important to recognize that you have rights if you have been arrested for a drug crime. Working with a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you navigate through the criminal justice system and make sure all options are explored.