Drug offenses are divided up into two distinct categories in the state of New York. There are marijuana-related crimes and then ones involving any other controlled substance.
The different state drug statutes can be found in New York Penal Law Sections 220-221.
These statutes outline how an individual may be charged with a Class A-1 felony if they’re found in possession of 8 ounces or more of any controlled substance found to contain 5,760 milligrams or more of methadone. The statute also outlines how any defendant convicted of such an offense may be ordered to pay as much as $100,000 in fines and sentenced to as long as 20 years in prison.
Those same statutes also highlight how an individual convicted of any drug offense that is classified as a Class B to Class E felony may be ordered to pay as much as $30,000 in fines. The defendant may also be sentenced to up to nine years in prison.
State statutes allow for individuals convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana to be assessed no more than $250 in fines. A defendant may be ordered to spend as long as 15 days in jail as well.
Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you engaged in criminal activity that you’re being accused of to secure a conviction. They must be able to show proof that you were indeed in possession of an unlawful controlled substance for a judge or jury to convict you on such charges.
You should consult with a lawyer before speaking with police or prosecutors if you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance. A drug charges attorney can advise you of your rights and potential defense strategies that you can pursue in your Kew Gardens criminal case.