There is a rising epidemic of drug usage across the United States. In New York, drug charges and drug-related offenses make up a huge segment of criminal court charges. It isn’t just the strung-out drug addicts finding themselves in trouble and being charged with possession – people from just about every socio-economic class and background are facing stiff penalties, fines, and – in some instances – jail time for drug offenses.
Although there are some possession charges that are considered only a misdemeanor offense, they still can lead to you going to prison for a while or having a criminal record. If you are charged with a drug offense of any kind in Queens, it is important that you understand the severity of the charges and the potential consequences that they may hold for your future if you are found guilty. The best place to start is to hire a local lawyer who specializes in drug possession charges.
What are the various drug possession crimes?
According to New York state law, being charged with drug possession means that you are in possession of drugs that are classified as “controlled substances.” A controlled substance can be any drug such as heroin, cocaine, street drugs, club drugs, or any other narcotics that have been obtained illegally. If you are found with marijuana, that might also lead to possession charges.
In Queens, there are six possession of drug (controlled substances) offenses. Only one is considered a misdemeanor: criminal possession of an illegal substance of the seventh degree. It is possible to face charges if you are in possession of any controlled substance. If you are found with more than the minimum amount specified, then it is possible to face felony charges. There are also instances where you can be prosecuted for possession of things like anabolic steroids, which are also illegal.
Felony possession drug charges
- Possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. If you are found with the amount of controlled substances within the fifth category, then you can be found guilty of a Class D felony.
- Possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. If you are found in possession of the amount and types of drugs within this category, then you can be charged with a Class C felony.
- Possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. If you are found in possession of the types of controlled substances in this category, then you can face Class B felony charges.
- Possession of a controlled substance in the second degree. If you are found in possession of the minimum amount and type of drugs within this classification, then it is possible to be found guilty of a Class A-II felony.
- Possession of a controlled substance in the first degree. The first-degree classification is the most serious of all drug possession charges. If you are found in possession of a minimum of eight ounces of prepared narcotic drugs or a minimum of 5760 milligrams of methadone, then it is possible to face Class A-I felony charges.
Possession of marijuana differs from other drug offense charges. It is considered a lesser charge than possession of a controlled substance. The different types of marijuana possession charges are:
- Unlawful possession of marijuana is a criminal violation.
- Criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree carries a Class B misdemeanor charge.
- Criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree carries a Class A misdemeanor charge.
- Criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree carries a Class E misdemeanor charge.
- Criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree carries a Class D felony charge.
- Criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree carries a Class C felony charge.
If you are found in possession of drugs in Queens, it is imperative that you hire a criminal lawyer to defend you against charges. Many drug possession charges can carry stiff penalties including fines, penalties, and jail time. To avoid consequences for your future and a criminal record, hire a drug possession attorney in Queens to defend you against prosecution.