Marijuana Possession and Sale Crimes in New York

Marijuana Possession and Sale Crimes in New York

In New York, there are laws that specifically address marijuana offenses separate and apart from other drug crimes which focus on the sale and possession of “controlled substances.” In general, marijuana crimes and violations are handled differently than the other drug crimes with prosecutors demonstrating more flexibility during plea negotiations. However, despite this, when someone is arrested and charged with a marijuana related crime, the primary concern remains the potential impact that a conviction and sentence will have on the individual’s future. As examples, a conviction may result in the denial of certifications and licenses, denial of a visa, and ineligibility for some financial aid.

Consult with a criminal defense lawyer at Riebling & Payton, PLLC as soon as you learn that there is an investigation, the issuance of a warrant or if you are arrested. This will ensure that you are competently represented, your rights are protected, that plea discussions remain favorable towards you and it may even result in the charges being dismissed.

New York’s Marijuana Possession Laws

Unlawful Possession of Marijuana

A person is guilty of unlawful possession when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana.

Unlawful possession is punishable only by a fine and possible imprisonment if there were prior convictions under the law.

Criminal Possession of Marijuana (5th to 1st Degree)

The degree and severity of these offenses depends on the manner and quantity of the drugs possessed and discovered. Fifth degree possession is considered when the Marijuana is discovered to be burning (lit) in open and public view and the weight is twenty five grams. Fourth, Third and Second Degree Marijuana Possession is charged depending on the weight discovered is more than two ounces, eight ounces, sixteen ounces and ten pounds, respectively.

Criminal Sale of Marijuana (1st Degree to 5th Degree)

The same applies with regard to the Possession of Marijuana crimes. The degree of severity also depends on the quantity found. The weights are the same, ranging from 2 ounces or less to 10 pounds or more.

Is Marijuana Decriminalized in New York?

The technical answer to that question is “yes.” However, this answer might be misleading to some people. Remember, the amount possessed must be under 25 grams and out of public view. In that circumstance, it should not be a crime to possess marijuana, but there is still a $100 civil fine penalty.

Defending Cases for Marijuana Possession in New York

Persons charged with marijuana related offenses in New York may be eligible for an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal or ACD. This means that the case will be adjourned for a one year period. As long as the person does not get arrested within the period for a crime or other offense, the case will be dismissed and sealed. This means that the person’s records remain clean. This is often a good option to avoid more serious potential penalties, especially when the individual has no prior convictions or ACDs.

Contact our Westchester County drug crime defense attorneys at (914) 712-6878
We also travel to New York City for client meetings as necessary to get access to the solid defense that you need.

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    Marcia Payton
    Marcia began her legal career by working as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, prosecuting criminal cases in the country's finest and most highly regarded District Attorney's Office - New York County. It was here that Marcia worked with police officers and detectives and learned how a criminal investigation is handled from arrest to trial. Marcia successfully prosecuted thousands of criminal cases while working in the Office of Special Narcotics in New York City, presenting ...
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    Stephen J. Riebling
    “The Court has to say, I have been impressed by Mr. Riebling’s knowledge … and his grasp of the records in this case. It is beyond any that I have seen in any kind of a case similar to this. I am just saying, it’s part of my thinking that someone with your knowledge would be able to understand these things certainly better than I am and perhaps most laymen or even attorneys…” - Westchester Supreme Court Judge Robert Neary Judge Neary was the presiding judge in the murder trial of Lacey Spears. ...
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