Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance

New York state law restricts the use and possession of all controlled substances, including both prescription and illicit drugs. State law creates numerous criminal offenses for those who illegally possess controlled substances.

Drug offenses, including criminal possession of a controlled substance, are some of the most serious crimes in New York. If you are facing a drug charge, now is the time to call a New York drug possession attorney.

Your drug defense lawyer will defend you against these serious charges in court. A criminal conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance, even for a first offense, can lead to a long jail sentence and high fines.

Further, a drug possession conviction will lead to a permanent criminal record, which could bring harsher penalties for any future convictions. Rather than try to handle your case alone, reach out to a qualified drug possession defense lawyer now for help.

What Possession Really Means

New York Penal Code Section 10.00 defines possession as the “means to have physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property.” In other words, possession means to actually have control over something.

For example, someone found to have a controlled substance (including cocaine, prescription painkillers, and other drugs) in their pocket or bag could be considered in possession of the substance.

Police and prosecutors have to prove that someone accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance actually had control over the controlled substance.

In many cases, someone may be arrested for criminal possession for associating with those who actually are in possession. In these cases, the accused may face serious criminal charges, even though the controlled substance did not belong to them.

No matter what circumstances lead to a drug arrest, anyone facing a criminal possession charge in New York should call a defense lawyer immediately. A drug defense attorney can help prove what really happened, and can use evidence to defend their client.

Penalties for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance

There are various degrees to the criminal possession of a controlled substance offense. The exact degree someone faces depends on the specific controlled substance involved, and the amount they allegedly possessed.

Below are the penalties someone could face if convicted for criminal possession of a controlled substance:

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh-degree: Class A misdemeanor; punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth-degree: Class D felony; punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth-degree: Class C felony; punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third-degree: Class B felony; punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a $30,000 fine
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second-degree: Class A-II felony; punishable by up to life in prison and a $50,000 fine
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first-degree: Class A-I felony; punishable by up to life in prison and a $100,000 fine
  • Contact a New York Criminal Possession Attorney

    Given how severe the possible penalties are for criminal possession of a controlled substance in New York, anyone charged with this crime should call a criminal possession defense lawyer in New York for help.

    If you are facing a possession or other drug charge, call a New York drug possession lawyer who can advocate for you.

    Call the New York Controlled Substance Defense Lawyers and Former Manhattan Prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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