Drug charges are extremely serious in nature. Possession of a controlled substance is treated much differently than possession of marijuana. If you're hit with a drug charge in Buffalo or WNY, it's important that you contact an experienced Buffalo drug charge lawyer such as Drew Fritsch.
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES IN NEW YORK
In the State of New York, controlled substances are defined as illegal drugs such as heroin, meth, and cocaine. It also includes illegal possession of prescription medications such as pain medications, sleep medications, and medications for ADHD. If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance, it is a criminal offense even for certain prescription medications. For prescription medications, you should keep your prescription with you at all times and do not ever take more than is prescribed.
In New York, possession of Marijuana has been decriminalized, but you may face a drug charge if you have more than 25 grams of marijuana or if you are suspected of selling or growing marijuana. Even if the marijuana isn't in your pocket or hands, you could still be charged. If the marijuana is in your car, or in an area where you could physically reach it, you could face a drug charge if it is more than 25 grams.
In New York, constructive possession can lead to a drug charge. Constructive possession means you know that the controlled substance or marijuana is present and that you have the ability to control what happens to it. Essentially, it means you know or you should have known about the drugs.
PENALTIES OF DRUG CHARGES IN NEW YORK
If you are charged for possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription, you could face:
- Class A-I Felony – Drug charges for eight or more ounces of a controlled substance that is listed as a narcotic drug or more than 5,760 milligrams of methadone. Penalties include fines of up to $100,000 and you could be sentenced to 15 – 25 years in prison.
- Class A–II Felony – Drug charges for four to seven ounces of controlled substances listed as narcotic drugs, two or more ounces of meth, ten grams or more of a controlled substance listed as a stimulant (such as Ritalin), 625 milligrams or more of a controlled substance listed as a hallucinogen, 25 grams or more of a hallucinogenic substance; or between 2,880 and 5,760 milligrams of methadone. You could face a fine of up to $50,000 as well as between three years and eight years, four months in prison.
- Class B Felony – Drug charges between one and a half and four ounces of a narcotic; between five and ten grams of a stimulant; between five and 25 milligrams of LSD; between five and 25 grams of hallucinogens; or 1,250 milligrams or more of PCP. You could face up to 25 years in prison and be fined up to $30,000.
- Class C Felony – Drug charges between 1/8 and ½ ounce of a controlled substance; between ½ and 2 ounces of meth; between one and five grams of a stimulant; between one and five milligrams of LSD; between 25 and 625 milligrams of a hallucinogenic; ten ounces or more of a controlled dangerous depressant; two pounds or more of a depressant medication; between 250 and 1,2050 milligrams of PCP' between 360 and 2,880 milligrams of methadone; 4,000 grams or more of ketamine; or 200 grams or more of GHB. If you're charged with a Class C felony, you could be sentenced to 15 years in prison and be fined up to $15,000.
- Class D Felony – Drug charges for ½ ounce or more of a narcotic; between 50 and 250 milligrams of PCP; 500 milligrams or more of cocaine; between 1,000 and 4,000 milligrams of ketamine; and between 28 and 200 grams of GHB. You could face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor – Drug charges for the possession of any controlled substance not listed (other than marijuana). You could be sentenced to up to one year in prison and receive a fine of up to $1,000.
Additionally, there are charges related to possession that could cause you to face up to 20 years in prison, which is why it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Buffalo drug charge lawyer to explain your rights and help prepare a strong defense.
With marijuana drug charges, you may have options if it is your first charge. However, if you have a criminal charge, you may have fewer options. Drug charges for marijuana in New York depend on the amount of marijuana that is on your person or that you have constructive possession over. There are misdemeanor and felony charges. First degree possession is more than 10 pounds of marijuana and you could face up to 15 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
DEFENDING YOUR FUTURE
If you or a loved one has been arrested for any type of drug charge, don't plead guilty until you know your options. Contact an experienced Buffalo drug charge lawyer like Drew Fritsch to defend your freedom from a drug charge like possession, sale, or manufacturing.