New York City Marijuana Possession Attorney
Criminal Defense for Marijuana Charges in New York
The illegal substance known as cannabis (commonly referred to as marijuana) is one of the nation's most widely abused drugs. This drug is an almost all-natural drug and usually consists of flowers, stems, seeds and leaves of the cannabis plant; the medically noted active ingredient is that of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly shortened to THC. Typically smoked, marijuana releases the THC into lungs, which then travels into the blood and throughout the body. Once in the brain, it can begin to influence and interfere with perception, coordination, memory, learning and problem solving.
Although marijuana-related offenses are typically considered the least serious drug crimes, there are harsh consequences if you are charged with distribution or cultivation. Even marijuana
possession can carry jail or prison time depending on the amount found in one's possession or on one's property. Representing clients throughout New York City, the
criminal defense team at Musa-Obregon & Associates is committed to helping arrestees, suspects and defendants avoid the serious repercussions of marijuana charges. If you would like to learn how the firm can assist you, call today to schedule a consultation with a
NYC drug crime defense lawyer.
Having your questions answered and concerns addressed by a knowledgeable professional may be just what you need to make informed choices about your case – not to mention protect your freedom from the very beginning of any criminal proceedings.
Marijuana Possession Penalties in New York
The severity of a marijuana offense will vary depending on the type of alleged crime and the amount of cannabis involved. Under New York State Penal Code § 221.05, minor marijuana possession charges are considered violations and do not carry criminal penalties. Possession of less than 25 grams is a violation carrying a monetary fine of $100 for a first offense and $200 for a second offense within 3 years of the first offense. A third marijuana possession offense within 3 years, however, even involving less than 25 grams of cannabis, is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 15 days in jail and/or a fine of $250.
The classification of marijuana charges and penalties associated with these increase as the amount of cannabis increases, as follows:
- Possession of marijuana in the fifth degree: use of marijuana in a public place, possession of marijuana in open view, or possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana. This is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 3 months in jail and a fine of $500.
- Possession of marijuana in the fourth degree: possession of more than two ounces of marijuana. This is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1k fine.
- Possession of marijuana in the third degree: possession of more than eight ounces of marijuana. This is a class E felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a fine.
- Possession of marijuana in the second degree: possession of more than 16 ounces of marijuana. This is a class D felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a fine.
- Possession of marijuana in the first degree: possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana. This is a class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $15k fine.
It is important to note that the courts have much discretion in sentencing drug offenders, so the terms of imprisonment and fines for marijuana offenses may vary from those listed above.
Marijuana Sale Charges & Penalties
Marijuana sale charges and penalties are far more severe than those for simple possession. A defendant may find that he or she is facing possession for sale, sale or distribution charges related to marijuana if certain items are discovered by law enforcement during a search that may indicate that the defendant was selling or intended to sell the drugs. This may include measuring scales, bags, lists of names and phone numbers, large amounts of cash and drug paraphernalia.
Marijuana sale in the fifth degree, the least serious of all marijuana sale charges, involves selling two grams or less of marijuana, or one cigarette containing marijuana. This is a class B misdemeanor, and a defendant may face up to three months in jail and a fine. The charges and penalties increase as the amount of marijuana increases, all the way to a class C felony for selling more than 16 ounces of marijuana. While class C felony marijuana possession involves more than 10 pounds of marijuana, the equivalent of this offense involving sales requires only 16 ounces.
Marijuana Charges Lawyer in New York City
When dealing with drug crimes relating to marijuana, no matter whether it involves possession, distribution, cultivation or another alleged offense, it is highly encouraged that you involve a competent criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Even a first marijuana possession offense can have serious repercussions, as this will be on your record and may influence future penalties for marijuana and other drug crimes. From first time offenders to cases involving marijuana trafficking in federal court, the team at Musa-Obregon & Associates has the skills and resources necessary to seek the best possible result.
Take this opportunity to learn more about your legal rights and your options in challenging marijuana charges by contacting a New York City marijuana possession attorney at the firm.