Being accused of pot possession can fill a person full of fear. Such accusations may raise all kinds of worries regarding what penalties you could face if you are found guilty.
How serious being accused of marijuana possession is here New York is actually a more complex question than you might think. In the state, marijuana possession can be an unclassified violation, a misdemeanor crime or a felony crime. Which of these categories a given offense would fall into typically depends on the amount of marijuana possessed.
When is marijuana possession just a violation?
Under New York law, possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana is a violation. For a first violation, jail time is typically not on the table and the fine is $100. The fine is higher for subsequent violations, and for a third violation, a 15-day jail sentence can be on the table.
Misdemeanor marijuana possession
Possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana rises to the level of being at least a misdemeanor crime in New York. So, this is a key threshold when it comes to marijuana possession allegations.
Accusations of having possessed more than 25 grams up to 8 ounces of marijuana can leave a person facing misdemeanor marijuana charges in the state. A conviction on such charges carries much heftier penalties than a violation. Jail time can be given, and the fine amount is much higher. The exact fine and jail time amount you could face varies, depending on where within the above-mentioned marijuana amount range the amount you were alleged to possess falls. The penalties can be as high as a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for the top level of misdemeanor marijuana possession.
When marijuana possession is a felony
Another key amount threshold when it comes to New York’s marijuana laws is 8 ounces. Possession of more than this amount of marijuana is a felony offense in the state. A conviction on felony marijuana possession charges often carries fines in the thousands of dollars and can carry a prison sentence. Depending on the amount of marijuana possessed, felony marijuana possession could carry a prison sentence as high as 15 years and a fine as high as $15,000.
So, the amount of marijuana you are accused of possessing is a critical and impactful detail when you are facing possession allegations here in New York. Having a clear understanding of what the specific allegations leveled against you means for your overall legal situation can be of great importance when accused of drug offenses. So, this is one of the many topics it can be critical to have solid legal guidance on when facing such accusations.