Queens County Bar Association
Martindale Hubbell - Distinguished 2023

How Can Marijuana Charges Get Aggravated in New York?

Unlike controlled substances, which do have enhanced penalties, marijuana generally does not have enhanced penalties. The exception would be if it’s close to school or if it involves a minor. There can be some additional charges that are non-narcotics related when you deal with a minor, and subject a minor to being threatened by the use of marijuana, but that’s a separate charge.

Why Should Someone Take A Marijuana Desk Appearance Ticket Seriously?

Up until recently, the police were not using Desk Appearance Tickets for marijuana. Recently they have started using Desk Appearances for marijuana cases. The only thing that’s different about the Desk Appearance ticket is how you are brought before a judge. For these cases, you are fingerprinted, the same as you would be for any other arrest. However, instead of going directly to the judge and having to spend 24 hours waiting to see the judge, you are released and told to come back on a later date for arraignment. Otherwise, the cases are handled exactly the same. It’s just a way of keeping the courts from being too crowded with relatively minor arrests. Desk Appearance tickets are used for many misdemeanor charges in lieu of going directly to the arraignment court.

The case is no more or no less serious when you are given a Desk Appearance ticket. If you are convicted, you end up with exactly the same permanent criminal record, and you are subject to exactly the same penalties as if you went directly to arraignment rather than have a Desk Appearance ticket.

Why Is It Important To Retain A Criminal Defense Attorney For A Marijuana Case?

A marijuana case is nearly identical to any other case. If you are arrested and charged with marijuana, that means you have a criminal case, and you are facing not only the possibility of jail, but if you are convicted, you face the certainty of a permanent criminal record. New York, unlike many other states, has no method of removing a criminal conviction once it is in place. If you wind up convicted, that’s going to show up on your record for the rest of your life, and you can have all kinds of issues. For people who are not born in the country or are not citizens, it can have very serious consequences with ICE, particularly in the present environment. Because of this, a marijuana case is no less serious than any other criminal charge. You can walk into court, and maybe you get a disposition that you think is wonderful. After all they didn’t put you in jail, but you may have screwed up your life, for the rest of your life. It’s important that you get proper advice, and let the case be handled properly. For that reason, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a competent criminal lawyer under any of these circumstances.

Are There Any Diversion Programs For Marijuana Offenders In New York State?

In marijuana cases, if they are first offenders, it’s very rare that the court is going to seek or require that you be in some sort of a treatment program. It’s only when people come back several times, and they clearly have a real problem with marijuana, that the courts get involved in treatment. Those treatments are exactly the same as they would be for controlled substances. The same programs deal with people who have marijuana addictions or habits. It’s not as common as in hard drug cases, but sometimes people who are hooked on marijuana can be very well served by being in a court-sponsored program.

For more information on Aggravation Of Marijuana Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (718) 793-5700 today.

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