In the intricate landscape of the New York criminal justice system, drug offenses are among the most common. Contrary to belief, violating drug possession laws here in New York can result in felony charges, not just misdemeanor ones.
Felony crimes carry heavier penalties, including potential incarceration, fines and long-lasting consequences that can impact your life trajectory. The foundation of any drug possession defense is a thorough understanding of felony charges and their possible consequences. Here is a breakdown of the different degrees of drug possession in New York.
First-degree criminal possession
The most severe possession charge, this is a Class A-I felony that involves possessing large quantities of dangerous drugs like methadone and narcotics. The possible penalties include decades in prison and a possibility of lifetime incarceration. It typically depends on factors like the amount of the drug and its nature.
Second-degree criminal possession
Another Class A-I felony, second-degree drug possession may involve the same dangerous drugs mentioned above (in smaller amounts) or larger quantities of less dangerous drugs. The possible penalties upon conviction include many years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Third-degree possession and more
As you may expect, third, fourth and fifth-degree possession are the least severe felony possession-related offenses in New York. Even so, a conviction can still result in years of imprisonment and substantial financial losses due to fines and fees.
The only misdemeanor on this list, those convicted face possible incarceration and fines in the thousands of dollars.
Everyone has the constitutional right to defend themselves against criminal charges. Instead of believing your case is hopeless, seek guidance from a knowledgeable source and discuss your possible defense options.