FOLLOW US :
212-300-5196

White Glove Service. Excellent Results. Strong Reputation.

Read Our Reviews

NYC Criminal Lawyers

The Spodek Law Group is an elite criminal defense law firm that provides superior service and white glove professionalism, to a unique clientele nationwide. We handle tough cases that require experience, attention to detail, and excellence in order to win. With over 50 years of combined experience, we’ve handled national and international cases.

Our Mission

Service is paramount to results. We treat you like family, so you know what's going on always.

We Work for You

When you hire our criminal attorneys, you work directly with a senior attorney only.

Who We Are

We've been reviewed and rated as a top rated criminal defense law firm.

Schedule Consultation

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Our criminal defense law firms is one of the most successful defense law firms in the state of New York. We have a high success rate because we are very pragmatic when it comes to advising our clients on how to proceed – and to make sure their case ends in a positive outcome. Our goal is to help every single client get charges dismissed, or reduced. Because of our work, 100’s of people have been able to avoid criminal charges from being filed against them.

Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!


Hear From Our Clients

"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
Read Our Reviews

New York Penal Code 221.30: Criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree

New York Penal Code 221.30: Criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree

Many people think that marijuana should be legal. A lot of other states are moving in that direction. Even so, possession of marijuana is still illegal in New York.

If you’re caught with up to twenty-give grams of marijuana, it’s a civil infraction ticket. You only risk jail time if you have more than twenty-five grams. From there, New York divides marijuana possession charges by degrees. The most serious charge is possession of marijuana in the first degree.

Penalties for possession of marijuana in the first degree

Criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree is a class C felony under N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.30. You can be charged with the offense if you’re found with more than ten pounds of marijuana. For a class C felony, you can spend up to 15 years in prison if you’re convicted. You also face a fine of up to $15,000.

Examples and other common charges

If you’re facing charges of possession of marijuana in the first degree, the police might also try to charge you with the sale of marijuana. If they believe that you have enough marijuana that you intend to sell it or even share it with someone else, you might find yourself charged with sale of marijuana in addition to possession.

Available defenses

If you’re charged with possession of marijuana in the first degree, it’s important to speak with a NYC criminal attorney about your available defenses. There might be ways for you to defend yourself that you hadn’t considered. These options can result in dismissal of your charges or reduced penalties.

When your attorney evaluates your case, they’re going to evaluate how the police found the marijuana. If they pulled you over while you were driving, your attorney is going to pour over the traffic stop to determine if it was legal. The police have to have a legal reason to stop your vehicle. If they don’t, your attorney can ask the court to dismiss the charges.

The same is true if the police searched your home. You must either give them permission to search your home or they need a search warrant. If they broke the law to find your marijuana, the court might dismiss the entire case.

Another common defense is that you weren’t actually in possession of the marijuana. The marijuana might have belonged to someone else. It might not have been in your control. It’s up to law enforcement to prove all of the elements of the offense against you in court. If they don’t, you could win your trial.

Drug treatment courts

If you’re charged with first degree possession of marijuana, you might be eligible to participate in a drug treatment court in exchange for a reduced sentence or dismissal of your charges. To get this kind of disposition, you can ask the court to evaluate if you have a substance abuse problem that contributed to your criminal charges.

If the court finds that you have a substance abuse problem, the court might offer that you can participate in a drug treatment program. The program includes a probationary term that involves substance abuse monitoring and treatment programs. If you successfully complete the program, you can receive a reduced sentence or dismissal the charges against you.

Possession of marijuana in the first degree is a serious offense in New York. If you’re facing this type of charge, we invite you to contact our offices. Your future is too important to risk.

New York Penal Code 221.25: Criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree

In New York, there’s no distinction between having marijuana plants and having processed marijuana that’s ready to smoke. What charge you face depends on the weight of the marijuana. Marijuana charges are divided by degrees. The most serious charge is first degree, and the least serious charge is a civil infraction.

Possession of marijuana charges are determined by weight

If you have more than ten pounds of marijuana, that’s possession in the first degree. If you have sixteen or more ounces of marijuana, it’s possession in the second degree. There are third, fourth and fifth degree possession charges for amounts of less than sixteen ounces. Finally, there is a civil ticket for possession of less than twenty-five grams of marijuana.

The penalties

Possession of marijuana in the second degree is a violation of N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.25. It’s a class D felony. You can spend up to seven years in prison and pay a fine of up to $5,000 if you’re convicted.

Possession of marijuana and the sale of marijuana are two distinct and separate crimes in New York. If you have enough marijuana that law enforcement thinks it’s not only for your personal use, they might charge you with the sale of marijuana. Even if you give marijuana away, it’s classified as a sale under New York law. Having selling accessories with your marijuana like scales or plastic bags can also lead to an additional charge of selling marijuana.

The Compassionate Care Act

Recent legislation makes it legal for individuals to own small amounts of marijuana for medical use only. A medical professional must recommend marijuana to their patient. You must have a medical registration card before you possess. Even a prescribing physician must complete state training in order to legally recommend marijuana to patients.

Other available defenses

If you find yourself facing a marijuana charge in New York, there are a variety of defenses that might be available to you. In addition to the Compassionate Care Act, you might be able to defend yourself on the grounds that the stop or the search warrant was illegal. The police can’t just stop your vehicle or search your home for marijuana.

Instead, they have to have legal grounds to search. In the case of your home, they have to have a search warrant. If the police didn’t search your property or home in a lawful way, the result can be a complete dismissal of the charges against you.

You might also be able to defend yourself against the charges on the grounds that you didn’t actually have possession of the marijuana. Perhaps someone else put the marijuana on your person in hopes of avoiding their own charges. If you can show that you didn’t have dominion or control over the marijuana, it might be a valid defense to the charges.

You might also qualify to participate in a drug court program. If you have a substance abuse problem, New York has drug courts available to help offenders overcome these issues. If you successfully complete the drug court program, you can get a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. Drug court programs usually involve substance abuse testing and treatment such as counseling.

Work with an experienced attorney

Marijuana laws continue to change in the State of New York. It’s important that you consult an NYC criminal lawyer if you’re facing marijuana charges. An attorney can help you navigate this complex area of law. They can help you prepare your best defense and achieve the best possible outcome in court.

New York Penal Code 221.20: Criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree

Unless you’re a registered user or caregiver under New York’s Compassionate Care Act, it’s illegal to possess marijuana in New York. In fact, the courts still take marijuana offenses seriously. Possession of marijuana can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how much marijuana the police find in your possession.

The degrees of marijuana possession

In New York, possession of marijuana can be a very serious offense. If you have ten pounds of marijuana or more, you face a class C felony. The most serious offense is possession of marijuana in the first degree. Second, third, fourth and fifth degree marijuana possession charges are progressively less serious for smaller amounts of marijuana.

Criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree involves possessing at least eight ounces of marijuana. If you have sixteen ounces of marijuana, you can face a charge of possession in the second degree. Possession in the third degree is a class E felony under N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.20. You can spend up to four years in prison if you’re convicted of the charge. You can also face a fine of up to $5,000 and spend significant time on probation.

Defenses

You and your NYC criminal attorney should create a game plan that defends you against the charges in every way possible. One way to defend yourself is to argue that the state doesn’t have sufficient evidence that you possessed the marijuana. It’s up to the state to prove that you knew that you had power and control over the marijuana.

For example, four friends are on a camping trip. Law enforcement finds a bag of marijuana sitting near the camp fire. No one is sitting near the marijuana, and no one claims to know who the marijuana belongs to. In this case, the state’s case might fail because there’s no way for them to prove that you actually had the marijuana.

Your attorney can also explore possible defenses that relate to the state proving that the substances in your possession are actually marijuana. In addition, the state needs to prove that you knew you were in possession of the marijuana as opposed to accidentally carrying someone else’s things. Finally, if the state violated search and seizure laws when they gathered evidence against you, this can also be a defense to the charges.

Compassionate Care Act

There are limited circumstances where a person can legally possess marijuana in New York. This is the case where a person is a registered medical marijuana user or caregiver under New York’s Compassionate Care Act. The circumstances that make marijuana use legal under the Act are carefully controlled. A person must be a registered user or caregiver before they’re caught with marijuana. To receive a medical marijuana card, a person must have a qualifying medical condition and a certification from an authorized doctor that endorses their medical marijuana use.

Drug Courts

Finally, New York courts use a drug court program to help non-violent drug offenders stop abusing substances. The theory behind the drug courts is that people need treatment to conquer drug use instead of only punishment from the court system. To take advantage of drug court, the person charged pleads guilty to the offense and enters the drug court program.

While in the drug court, participants obtain treatment for substance use and prove their sobriety with drug testing. Criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree is a serious offense, so your qualification to drug court is not automatic. If you successfully complete the program, your charges can be reduced or dismissed.

New York Penal Code 221.15: Criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree

In New York, possession of marijuana can be a very serious offense. At the highest level, possession of more than ten pounds of marijuana is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. For small amounts, possession of marijuana is only punishable by paying a fine. The specific marijuana charge you face depends on the amount of marijuana that law enforcement finds. They determine the amount by weighing what they find.

Possession of marijuana in the fourth degree

Marijuana possession charges are divided into five degrees of criminal charges plus a non-criminal charge. First degree possession is for the largest amounts, and fifth degree possession is the lowest of the criminal marijuana charges. Possession of marijuana in the fourth degree occurs when you have more than two ounces of marijuana but less than eight ounces. Possession in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor under N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.15. A class A misdemeanor can carry up to one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Your options

Spodek Law Group is a team of NYC criminal lawyers with extensive experience defending marijuana charges in New York. A marijuana charge in New York is serious. However, there are options available to you to defend your charges completely or reduce them to a less serious offense.

Drug courts

You might consider participating in one of New York’s drug treatment courts. The justice system created drug courts in order to treat the problem of drug use instead of simply punishing it. If you have a substance abuse problem that contributes to your criminal use of marijuana, you might be eligible for this option.

Your participation includes a term of probation during which you participate in intensive drug treatment and monitoring. The goal is that you are able to find the resources that you need in order to stop using marijuana. If you’re successful in the treatment program, you can have your charges reduced or even dismissed completely.

Possession and control

Law enforcement has to prove the charges against you to the satisfaction of a jury. To do this, they have to prove that you are the person that actually had possession of the marijuana. Saying that the marijuana is away from your immediate person in a closet in your room isn’t going to help, because the marijuana is still under your control. This might be a great defense in cases where the marijuana is under a seat in a car and law enforcement can’t prove who put it there or who in the vehicle can exercise control over it.

Search and seizure

Even if you have marijuana, law enforcement still has to find it in a legal way. If they want to search your home, they need to get a search warrant. If you didn’t invite law enforcement to look in your home, and they didn’t get a search warrant, you might be able to completely defend your case on constitutional grounds. There are a few nuances and exceptions in search and seizure laws, so it’s important to work with a skilled attorney to evaluate your defenses.

Compassionate Care Act

Marijuana use is actually legal in a few situations in New York. This is because of New York’s Compassionate Care Act. The goal of the law is to allow people to use marijuana in certain conditions because of medical problems. To use medical marijuana you need to have a qualifying condition, and you must apply to be an official patient.

New York Penal Code 221.10: Criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree

Possession of small amounts of marijuana in New York is only punishable by a ticket. If law enforcement catches you with less than twenty-five grams of marijuana, all they can do is give you a fine. If you’re caught with more than twenty-five grams, possession of marijuana is a crime in New York. While other states have moved towards legalizing marijuana use for recreational purposes, marijuana remains illegal in New York.

Your charge depends on how much you have

The seriousness of your marijuana charge depends on how much marijuana law enforcement thinks you had in your possession. Criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree is the least serious of the criminal marijuana charges. First degree is the most serious, and that covers situations where a person has more than ten pounds in their possession. Fifth degree possession occurs when a person has more than twenty-five grams but less than two ounces of marijuana.

The penalties

Criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree is a class B misdemeanor under N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.10. That means you can spend up to three months in jail for the offense. You can also pay a fine of up to $500. Penalties for possession of marijuana are greater for offenses involving a larger quantity of marijuana.

Available defenses

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t show the marijuana to anyone, if you didn’t smoke it or even if you kept it in a locked place where children can’t access it. All law enforcement needs to be able to prove is that you had the marijuana in your control. There’s also no distinction between plants that are growing and processed marijuana that’s ready to smoke. Law enforcement determines the charges by weighing the amount of marijuana in your possession.

If you’re charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree, our team of NYC criminal attorneys can help you explore your available defenses. You might be able to defend your charges on the grounds that you are able to use marijuana legally under New York’s Compassionate Care Act. This law allows trained physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients for certain medical conditions. If you have a registered card for use and you use marijuana only under regulated conditions, your use can be legal.

In addition to the Compassionate Care Act, your attorney might be able to file pretrial motions to ask the court to dismiss your charges. This can be the case if law enforcement stopped or searched your vehicle illegally. Law enforcement needs to have a legal reason to stop your vehicle. They can’t just randomly stop vehicles that look like they might contain marijuana. If law enforcement broke the law to stop and search you, the entire case might be invalid.

Law enforcement also needs a search warrant to look for marijuana in your home. There are a few exceptions, but generally the rule is that law enforcement either needs an invitation from you to search your home or they need to get a search warrant signed by a judge before they walk in your home and look. If they don’t, you can have your entire case thrown out.

Your attorney can explore other defenses with you as well. Law enforcement has to prove to the jury that you’re the one who had possession of the marijuana. If the marijuana was under a seat or in a common area, that might be hard to prove. Your attorney can help you evaluate available defenses and make a game plan for your best defense.


Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!

FREE CONSULTATION

Testimonials

Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.

Get In Touch

Schedule Your Consultation

Los Angeles

555 W 5th St 35th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013

212-300-5196



get directions

Queens

35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106

212-300-5196



get directions

NYC

85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004

212-300-5196



get directions

Brooklyn

195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

212-300-5196



get directions

Call Us