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.