Drug Crimes

Drug Charges in New York

There are 6 possession of controlled substances offenses, only one of which is a misdemeanor: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. You may face this charge if you possess any amount of a controlled substance. It is a Class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.03. Depending on the drug involved, if you are in possession of more than a specified minimum amount, the charge will not be criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, but a more serious felony criminal possession charge. In other cases, such as with the unlawful possession of anabolic steroids, possession of any amount will result in the misdemeanor charge. The following are felony drug possession charges:

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree involves possessing a controlled substance intending to sell it; possessing at least 1/2 ounce of a narcotic preparation; possessing at least 50 milligrams of PCP; possessing at least 1/4 ounce of a concentrated preparation of cannabis; possessing at least 500 milligrams of cocaine; possessing at least 1,000 milligrams of ketamine; possessing any amount of ketamine if you have a previous ketamine possession conviction; or possessing at least 28 grams of GHB. It is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.06
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree involves possessing at least 1/8 ounce of narcotic drug preparations; at least 1/2 ounce of methamphetamine preparations; at least 2 ounces of narcotic preparations; at least 1 gram of a stimulant; at least 1 milligram of a lysergic acid diethylamide; at least 25 milligrams of a hallucinogen; at least 1 gram of a hallucinogenic substance; at least 10 ounces of a dangerous depressant; at least 2 pounds of a depressant; at least 1 ounce of concentrated cannabis; at least 250 milligrams of PCP; at least 60 milligrams of methadone; at least 50 milligrams of PCP and you were previously convicted of a controlled substance offense; at least 4,000 milligrams of ketamine; any amount of ketamine if you have a previous possession of ketamine conviction; or possessing at least 200 grams of GHB. It is a Class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.09
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree is the charge you will face if you possess a narcotic drug; or you possess a stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or lysergic acid diethylamide drug with the intent to sell it and you have already been convicted of a controlled substance offense ; or you possess at least 1 gram of a stimulant, at least 1 milligram of a lysergic acid diethylamide, at least 25 milligrams of a hallucinogen, or at least 1 gram of a hallucinogenic substance with the intent to sell; or you possess at least 1/8 ounce of methamphetamine preparations, at least 5 grams of a stimulant; at least 5 milligrams of a lysergic acid diethylamide; at least 125 milligrams of a hallucinogen; at least 5 grams of a hallucinogenic substance; at least .5 ounce of a narcotic drug preparation; or at least 1,250 milligrams of PCP. It is a Class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree involves possessing a minimum of 4 ounces of narcotic drug preparations; 2 ounces of methamphetamine preparations; 10 grams of a stimulant; 25 milligrams of a lysergic acid diethylamide; 625 milligrams of a hallucinogen; 25 grams of a hallucinogenic substance; or 2,880 milligrams of methadone. It is a Class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.18
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is the most serious drug possession crime. You will face this charge if you possess a minimum of 8 ounces of narcotic drug preparations or at least 5,760 milligrams of methadone. It is a Class A-I felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.21

There are an additional 6 possession of marijuana offenses. Possession of marijuana is considered less serious than possession of a controlled substance. Thus, there is one possession of marijuana charge that is just a violation, and 2 others that are misdemeanors.

  • Unlawful possession of marijuana involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana. It is a violation. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.05
  • Criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana in a public place and burning it or displaying it in public view. It also involves possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 25 grams. It is a Class B misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.10
  • Criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 2 ounces. It is a Class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.15
  • Criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 8 ounces. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.20
  • Criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 16 ounces. It is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.25
  • Criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree involves knowingly and unlawfully possessing at least one preparation containing marijuana with an aggregate weight of at least 10 pounds. It is a Class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.30

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Have a question?

  • DUI and DWI may be used interchangeably. While DWI (driving while intoxicated) is the official legal term used in the state of New York, DUI refers to the same charge. This is the charge that most people are familiar with: if you are found to be driving while having a blood-alcohol content (BAC) exceeding .08% for those aged 21+ and .02% for those underage, you could be facing DWI charges.

    A DWAI (driving while ability impaired) charge is slightly more open to interpretation. You could be charged with a DWAI/Alcohol, DWAI/Drugs, or DWAI/Combination. A DWAI/Alcohol charge, though still very serious, is considered a traffic violation, as opposed to a criminal charge as a standard DWI would be. These charges may be brought against someone below the legal BAC limit for a DWI but the officer feels is nonetheless dangerously impaired. A DWAI/Drugs charge, however, is a criminal charge brought against a driver operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs.

  • New York, as well as many other states, has an implied consent law. This means that your choice to drive within state lines is an agreement to take a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine to determine your BAC if it is requested by law enforcement that you do so. However, the officer may not physically compel you to do so. If you refuse, you could be facing penalties such as a mandatory license suspension of one year and a fine of $500 or more. Commercial drivers face even harsher penalties.
  • There are several best practices during and immediately after an arrest for DWI:

    • Despite the obvious challenges, be polite and courteous to the officer(s) on the scene and do not resist arrest, but do not say anything that could incriminate yourself either.
    • Be observant and take note of anything that could be a violation of your rights. These things could help build your defense!
    • Act quickly after your arrest in seeking the help of a dedicated Carmel DUI attorney. Contrary to popular belief, the police are allowed to lie to you. Instead of guessing or hoping, bring someone to your defense who has a comprehensive understanding of the law surrounding DWI and your best interests at heart.

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