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New York City Drug Possession Lawyer

Charged with drug possession in Queens, NY?

Criminal possession of a controlled substance is a serious crime that may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in New York. The severity of charges and penalties imposed by the court upon a conviction for drug possession will vary primarily on the type and amount of substance involved. A defendant's past record of drug crime convictions, if any, will also influence sentencing. Although these charges may vary, one thing holds true for any person facing drug possession charges: he or she has the right to legal counsel.

Your right to an attorney is one of the most important constitutional rights you can exercise after an arrest for drug possession or any criminal offense. With the right Queens criminal defense attorney to handle your case and protect your rights, you have the invaluable opportunity of having your charges reduced or even dismissed entirely, or of achieving a favorable outcome in criminal court. With your freedom and future on the line, there is no way to exaggerate the importance of a strong defense.

Why Work With Our Queens Drug Crime Attorneys?

A New York City drug possession lawyer at Musa-Obregon Law PC can help you, no matter the nature or severity of your drug possession charges. There are a number of factors that will come into play in determining your innocence or guilt in court, and the team at the firm has the know-how and resources to build a compelling case on your behalf, taking all of these factors into account. The location of your arrest, any prior criminal record, the amount of controlled substance allegedly found on your person and the manner in which you were searched, arrested and questioned should all be considered. A thorough and detail-oriented strategy can make all the difference; the firm knows how to use these factors to a defendant's advantage.

New York Drug Possession Charges and Penalties

New York State Penal Code §§ 220.00-220.25 defines the offense of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and a wide range of charges and penalties may apply to drug possession offenses under these laws, from a class A misdemeanor all the way to a class A-I felony.

The two primary issues that will impact charges and sentencing are:

  1. The type of controlled substance
  2. The amount of controlled substance

Additional factors, such as the intent to sell or the intent to distribute to a person under the age of 21, may also come into play.

Drug Possession in the Seventh Degree

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, as defined in New York State Penal Code § 220.03, is the least serious of all possession charges and involves the knowing possession of any amount of a controlled substance. This is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If this is a defendant's first offense, however, he or she may qualify for drug treatment in lieu of incarceration.

Drug Possession in the Fifth Degree

Possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree involves possession of any amount of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, possession of half of an ounce of a narcotic drug, possession of 500 milligrams or more of cocaine, possession of more than 1,000 milligrams of ketamine, possession of any amount of ketamine if the defendant has a prior ketamine possession conviction, possession of 50 milligrams or more of phencyclidine (PCP) or possession of 28 grams or more of a substance containing gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). This class D felony may be punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine.

Felony Drug Possession in New York City

As the amounts of controlled substances increase, so do the charges and possible penalties. Possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, the most serious of all drug possession charges in Queens, is a class A-1 felony that may be punishable by life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. This offense involves possession of 8 ounces or more of a narcotic drug, or possession of 5,760 milligrams or more of methadone. A narcotic drug may be any drug listed in Schedule I(b), I(c), II(b) or II(c) of the New York State Controlled Substances Act, other than methadone.

It is important to note that a different set of laws apply to marijuana possession charges. To learn more about these, please visit our Marijuana page.

Choose a Former Prosecutor to Fight for Your Rights

Facing drug possession charges is a serious matter. As a former prosecutor who has nearly two decades of legal experience, Michael Musa-Obregon leads a team that can provide more effective legal representation based upon his knowledge of both sides of criminal proceedings. This experience may go a long way in understanding how the prosecution thinks and acts and therefore how to best counter their strategies to secure an acquittal or dismissal.

Because every case is different and every defendant's situation unique, it is helpful to have an attorney provide insight based upon your charges. Even if you have not been formally charged but were taken into custody or have discovered that you are the subject of an investigation by any local, state or federal law enforcement agency, you have rights that are best protected by a legal professional.

Contact a Queens drug possession attorney at the firm today. We serve clients facing drug possession charges throughout all of New York, including Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Rockland County and Westchester County.

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