As a technical matter, under current New York law, marijuana is NOT defined as a controlled substance. This is important because New York’s strict laws about possession and sale of controlled substances do not apply to cases involving marijuana. Marijuana-related offenses actually have their own special laws with their own offense levels.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, it is in your best interest to seek out a criminal defense lawyer who knows about these distinctions. The Law Office of Martin D. Kane has provided skilled drug crimes defense services for individuals throughout Queens County and all of New York since 1971. To speak with us about your arrest, your case or if you know you are under investigation, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
The Penalties You Face For Marijuana Offenses
In most cases, possession of marijuana is treated as a less serious offense than sale of marijuana. Often, marijuana possession cases also depend upon the weight of marijuana. This is a simple breakdown of how weight is relative to the charge that the prosecutor may file against someone:
- More than 25 grams = B misdemeanor (maximum 90 days in jail)
- More than 2 ounces = A misdemeanor (maximum one year in jail)
- More than 8 ounces = E felony
- More than 16 ounces = D felony
- More than 10 pounds = C felony
The Unlawful Possession Of Marijuana (PL Section 221.05)
Unlawful Possession of Marijuana is defined under New York Penal Law Section 221.05 as “A person is guilty of unlawful possession of marijuana when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana.”
If the quantity of marijuana or circumstances of the possession do not qualify for any other marijuana offense, then the person is usually found guilty of unlawful possession of marijuana. This section often applies to small amounts of marijuana possessed by someone on his or her person.
What you may not realize is that unlawful possession of marijuana is not even a crime in New York state. Unlawful possession of marijuana is classified by the current legislature as a violation. A violation is the legal equivalent of a traffic ticket.
If you are arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana and ONLY unlawful possession of marijuana, we will aggressively fight to have the charges dismissed.
Marijuana Charges And The Possibility Of Dismissal
Additionally, people who are arrested for pot or marijuana-related offenses may be eligible for a special disposition of their cases called a “Marijuana ACD.” ACD stands for Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. This means that the case is adjourned for one year pending you stay out of trouble during that year. If all conditions are met, the case will be dismissed and sealed. There is no additional probation, and fulfilling the terms does not involve an admission of guilt.
Professional Handling Of Search And Seizure Issues
Marijuana cases frequently involve issues of search and seizure including when the police search a car parked on the side of the road, a home or place of business. Marijuana cases often raise substantial Fourth Amendment claims, which we have the experience and skill to challenge properly.
If you believe that the police acted improperly in their dealings with you or someone you care about, you should consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Queens drug possession attorney. You may find that the police were in fact justified, or you may find that you have a substantial search and seizure issue that could influence the outcome of the case.
Criminal Defense Help Immediately Available
The Law Office of Martin D. Kane offers free initial consultations to discuss your options in fighting marijuana possession charges. To schedule yours, call us at (718) 793-5700 or contact us online.
We are located directly across from Queens Criminal Court. If you are in detention and cannot come to our office, we will arrange a consultation at the jail. All major credit cards are accepted. Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with evening and weekend appointments available.