When you are convicted of a drug possession crime, your life is turned upside-down. You may find yourself in a jail cell, waiting for bail and hoping that there is a way to make things right. Or you may be confused about how things led up to this point.
If you feel that you have been wrongfully convicted of a drug possession crime, it is important that you seek the advice of a professional law firm and get the facts about New York drug possession laws.
What are the Laws for Drug Possession in Brooklyn?
The drug possession laws for the state of New York are divided into two categories, controlled-substance and marijuana-related. Even though these offenses are separated, the foundations for these offenses are basically the same. For a person to be convicted of possession of either marijuana or a controlled substance, it must be proven, beyond any reasonable doubt, that they have met the following actions.
• The substance they were in possession of was indeed a controlled-substance
• The defendant had possession of that substance at the time of their arrest
• They were fully aware of the fact that they had possession of the substance
• And they were aware that the possession of the substance was against the law
The authorities will look at whether the possession of the illegal substance was physical or constructive. This means that the person literally had the substance on them at the time of their arrest, or that they were in control of the person or place where the drugs could be found. The defendant should be aware that authorities can prove constructive possession of an illegal substance even if they are no present at the location when the drugs are discovered.
What is the Usual Punishment for Drug Possession?
If you are convicted of a Class A-1 felony, which is the possession of 8 ounces or more of narcotic substances, or 5.760mg of methadone, you could be sentenced to 8-20 years in prison or a fine of as much as $100,000.
If you are convicted of Class B to Class E felony, your sentence could be a minimum of one year or a maximum of one and a half years, to nine years, and fines that range from $15,000 up to $30,000 for any Class B or Class C felonies.
The unlawful possession of marijuana is a violation and the punishment is imprisonment for a maximum of 15 days or a fine that is usually less than $250.
How Can an Attorney Help with a Drug Possession Conviction?
If you have been wrongfully convicted of drug possession, it is best to get in touch with a reliable and trustworthy law firm such as Spodek Law Group. They can help you get the evidence you need to prove your innocence. Your attorney can help to determine which defenses apply to your case if you choose to plead not guilty.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney
The main reason you should hire an attorney to help with your drug possession conviction is because there are some defenses and rights out there that you may not be aware of. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that you have the right to due process of law, and that includes the lawful search and seizure process prior to your arrest. Drugs that are found in plain sight by the police can be used as evidence against you, but if a police officer should pry open your car’s trunk without your permission, or search your home without a warrant, any drug paraphernalia they find cannot be used against you as evidence.
By hiring a skilled and experienced law firm in brooklyn, you will have the assistance that you need to eliminate your charges or help with getting a lighter sentence if you are found guilty.
Brooklyn Marijuana Possession Defense Lawyers
Possession of marijuana in the state of New York can be a relatively minor criminal matter, as it is classified as a misdemeanor for amounts under 25 grams. Fines for a first offense can be as low as $100 with no incarceration. However, cases that do not fall into the simple minor category are often dealt with harshly by local authorities, so charges can also carry significant punishment in the wrong situation. In addition, being charged with possession along with a co-defendant who receives a higher level of charges could also present a bad situation for the minor offender. Technicalities can matter greatly even in a typical marijuana possession case, and it is important to consult with an experienced Brooklyn marijuana possession lawyer before going to court for any charge. The ramifications of a marijuana conviction can last several years, and subsequent arrests can be problematic as well in terms of increased fines and potential jail time.
Most marijuana possession charges in New York are misdemeanors if the amount confiscated is less than eight ounces. Charges for less than 16 ounces is a Class E felony, which is one pound. Charges for amounts between one and ten pounds are Class D, while charges for anything above ten pounds is a Class C felony. Any charge for less than 25 grams, which is just short of one ounce, is generally considered an infraction. It is not until a arrest for misdemeanor possession of over 25 grams that a charge is actually considered criminal. However, a minor possession charge that is followed by a trafficking charge can spell significant trouble for the defendant, as New York is much more serious in prosecuting those distributing any drug. While each charge is considered on its own merit, pattern use can be an underlying factor in a later charge. This possibility alone is a good reason to avoid a conviction.
A standard conviction on simple marijuana possession charges under 25 grams is a $100 fine only. A third conviction at this violation level can carry up to 15 days incarceration well, with a $500 fine. When amounts exceed 25 grams, the potential for jail time applies and increases as the level of charges increase. Possession for up to two ounces can result in 90 days in jail, while possession for amounts between two and eight ounces can result in a one-year jail stent and $1000 fine. Possession for eight ounces to one pound can result in four years incarceration along with a $5000, and amounts between one and ten pounds can carry a seven-year sentence with the same fine. Possession of over ten pounds of marijuana only carries the same $5000 fine, but jail time can increase up to 15 years.
Why You Need an Attorney
The level of charges can matter greatly when your case goes to court. Federal law requires all defendants who are facing potential jail time to have competent legal defense representation because a sentence takes time off of the defendant’s life after conviction and all convicted individuals must understand their charges fully and be afforded full protection under the law. In addition, and especially in marijuana charges involving significant amounts, that period of time can be very long. Retaining an experienced Brooklyn marijuana possession criminal defense attorney is as much of an investment in your future as in your freedom.
Convictions for marijuana possession at any violation level can be a problem later in life when they can be a reason for denied substantive employment or public services. Any conviction is a bad conviction. That is why it is always important to evaluate the outcome of the pending charge and consider retaining a Brooklyn marijuana possession lawyer who knows the local court system and will aggressively defend your case to fullest extent of the law.
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