Fighting Drug Charges for Clients in New York

Drug crimes are among some of the most common offenses heard in the local NY courts. Individuals charged with drug offenses can come from all walks of life, ethnic groups, ages, and backgrounds. Drug possession is a recurring criminal charge based on being found with street drugs ranging from marijuana, cocaine, and heroin to unauthorized prescription medicines such as Adderall, Vicodin, and Valium.

More serious drug crimes can involve sales and distribution and more. 

Unfortunately, drug convictions can have serious consequences, both legal, professional, and personal. A criminal conviction can end a professional career that requires state licensing and can hamper everything from future employment to university loans and scholarships, government housing and other benefits, and can threaten your immigration status as a noncitizen. 

Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer whom you can trust to put total effort into helping you avoid a conviction or minimize the consequences is critical. At The Law Offices of Michael Chessa PLLC, our experienced New York drug crime lawyer is committed to helping you reach the optimal results in any drug crime allegation.  

Drug Crimes in New York

Drug crimes can range from simple possession (for one’s own use) of marijuana to manufacturing drugs such as methamphetamine, importing and distributing drugs, and drug conspiracy. Drugs are categorized into five “schedules” under New York law. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous, highly addictive, and without medical value. Additional drugs and their precursors follow in the remaining schedules in a descending order of their danger. 

How you are charged in any drug crime is based on what schedule the drug found in your possession falls under, the quantity found, and the nature of the crime, such as simple possession vs. possession with an intent to sell. Drug charges can range from a Class A-I felony through lower felony charges down to a Class A misdemeanor, depending on the drug. Possession of marijuana has its own charges and penalties. For example, possession of less than three ounces of marijuana is not considered a crime while possession of more than three up to eight ounces is a charged as a misdemeanor in, NYC. 

Penalties can range from up to a year in jail to up to 25 years in prison. Repeat convictions will result in enhanced penalties. Fines can range from $1,000 up to $100,000. Diversion programs are available for those individuals who are eligible. These programs apply to those with drug addictions who are willing to undergo drug treatment under supervision of the court in NYC. If you qualify, such a program may be arranged with the help of your New York drug crime attorney at The Law Offices of Michael Chessa PLLC. 


New York Marijuana Laws

In New York, it is legal for adults who are at least 21 years old to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and a maximum 24 grams of concentrated cannabis for personal use.

However, possession of between 3 and 8 ounces of cannabis is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 1 year and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession of more than 8 ounces is considered a felony offense. Additionally, possession of between 24 grams or less than 1 ounce of concentrated cannabis is also a felony.

Remember, adults may use cannabis on private property or wherever smoking tobacco is allowed under the smoke-free air laws in New York. You cannot use marijuana in motor vehicles or in outdoor dining areas at restaurants. If you smoke or vape in a prohibited area, you may be subject to a fine and civil summons.


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