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Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance

New York Public Health Law § 3306 divides its classification of controlled substances into five schedules. A person who is arrested in the state of New York for possession of a controlled substance can be facing severe penalties if convicted, including a lengthy term of imprisonment in addition to heavy fines. Criminal possession charges are divided into five degrees from first degree which is the most serious to fifth degree.

Depending on the amount and the type of the drug a person is arrested for allegedly possessing, this charge can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense. The accused’s criminal record also plays an important role in determining the type of penalties and punishments the court might impose. 

Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer in Manhattan

If you have been arrested for possessing a controlled substance in New York, you will want to contact a skilled and hard-working criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Greco Neyland, PC defends clients in Manhattan and Brooklyn against all types of drug charges.

Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland know that prosecutors aggressively pursue these charges even when there may be flaws in their evidence, and our firm performs an exhaustive investigation to uncover any and all errors that can be exposed and used to your benefit. Let us review your case by calling (212) 951-1300 to arrange a free, confidential consultation.


Info on NYC Drug Possession Charges


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New York City Charges for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance

Article 220 of the New York Penal Law contains several controlled substances offenses, including six different degrees related to possession. These amounts listed below are assuming that the alleged offender does not have any previous drug convictions:

  • Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, New York Penal Law § 220.03 — It is a Class A misdemeanor if a person knowingly and unlawfully possesses either:
    • Less than 500 milligrams of cocaine
    • Less than 0.5 ounces of a narcotic preparation
    • Less than 50 milligrams of Phencyclidine (PCP)
    • Less than 0.25 ounces of a concentrated preparation of cannabis
    • Less than 1,000 milligrams of ketamine
    • Less than 28 grams of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)
    • Less than 0.125 ounces of Heroin
    • Less than 1 milligram of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
    • Less than 360 milligrams of Methadone
    • Less than 0.5 ounces of Methamphetamine
  • Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, New York Penal Law § 220.06 — It is a Class D felony if a person knowingly and unlawfully possesses either:
    • A controlled substance with the intent to sell it
    • At least 0.5 ounces but less than 2 ounces of a narcotic preparation
    • At least 50 milligrams but less than 250 milligrams of PCP
    • At least 0.25 ounces but less than one ounce of concentrated cannabis
    • At least 500 milligrams of cocaine
    • At least 1,000 milligrams but less than 4,000 milligrams of ketamine
    • At least 28 grams but less than 200 grams of GHB
  • Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, New York Penal Law § 220.09— It is a Class C felony if a person knowingly and unlawfully possesses either:
    • At least 0.125 ounces but less than 0.5 ounces of a narcotic drug
    • At least 2 ounces but less than 4 ounces of a narcotic preparation
    • At least 0.5 ounces but less than 2 ounces of methamphetamine
    • At least 1 gram but less than 5 grams of a stimulant
    • At least 1 milligram but less than 2 ounces of LSD
    • At least 25 milligrams but less than 125 milligrams of a hallucinogen
    • At least 1 gram but less than 5 grams of a hallucinogenic substance
    • At least 10 ounces of a dangerous depressant
    • At least 2 pounds of a depressant
    • At least 1 ounce of concentrated cannabis
    • At least 250 milligrams but less than 1,250 milligrams of PCP
    • At least 360 milligrams but less than 2,880 milligrams of methadone
    • At least 4,000 milligrams of ketamine
    • At least 200 grams of GHB
  • Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, New York Penal Law § 220.16 — It is a Class B felony if a person knowingly and unlawfully possesses either:
    • A narcotic drug with intent to sell it
    • At least 0.5 ounces but less than 4 ounces of a narcotic drug
    • At least 0.125 ounces of methamphetamine with intent to sell
    • At least 5 grams but less than 10 grams of a stimulant
    • At least 5 milligrams but less than 25 milligrams of LSD
    • At least 125 milligrams but less than 625 milligrams of a hallucinogen
    • At least 5 grams but less than 25 grams of a hallucinogenic substance
    • At least 1,250 milligrams of PCP
  • Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law § 220.18 — It is a Class A-II felony if a person knowingly and unlawfully possesses either:
    • At least 4 ounces but less than 8 ounces of a narcotic drug
    • 2 ounces or more of methamphetamine
    • 10 grams or more of a stimulant
    • 25 milligrams or more of LSD
    • 625 milligrams or more of a hallucinogen
    • 25 grams or more of a hallucinogenic substance
    • At least 2,880 milligrams but less than 5,760 milligrams of methadone
    • 4 ounces or more of narcotic preparations

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New York Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Penalties

A person faces some very stiff consequences if he or she is convicted of drug possession in New York. The possible punishments by level of offense include:

  • Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Class D Felony — Up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Class C Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
  • Class B Felony — Up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.
  • Class A-II Felony — Up to life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
  • Class A-I Felony — Up to life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

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Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Defenses in Brooklyn

Every case is unique, and there may be additional factors to your own personal case that allow for additional defenses. In general, some common defenses against these types of charges can include, but are not limited to:

  • Illegal Search and Seizure — The police either did not have a warrant or failed to establish probable cause to search the alleged offender, his or her vehicle, or home.
  • Unknowing Possession — The alleged offender may have had no knowledge that drugs were in the location that they were ultimately found.
  • Crime Lab Analysis Errors — A drug crime lab’s failure to follow specific procedures in regards to analytical testing can result in evidence being suppressed.
  • Transitory Possession — An alleged offender may have had possession of drugs only momentarily while he or she was about to turn them over to law enforcement.
  • No Intent To Sell — In regards to charges that stem from an alleged offender’s supposed intention to sell a controlled substance, the prosecutor will need to prove that the alleged offender did not simply intend to keep the controlled substance for himself or herself.
  • Drugs Belonged to Someone Else — This may be raised as a defense in cases in which controlled substances were found in places where multiple people may have had joint access to the drugs

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Finding a Lawyer for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substances in New York City

Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland are both former narcotics prosecutors prosecuting who understand how these types of drug cases are handled throughout the State of New York, and in the courtrooms in Manhattan. This experience on both sides of the aisle gives our firm a fuller understanding of how drug crimes are presented. The attorneys at Greco Neyland, PC fight the charges aggressively to help you mount an aggressive defense.

From possession of controlled substances, to more serious drug crimes. call us to discuss your case and possible defenses that might apply.

This article was last updated on Monday, December 28, 2015.

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