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Westchester Drug Crime Lawyer

Information About Marijuana Crime

Legally, marijuana offenses are considered different than offenses involving other controlled substances. While New York is known for its strict stance on possession and sale of controlled substances, these laws do not necessarily apply to marijuana. Speak to Westchester drug crime lawyer, Robert Schuster, to discuss the details of your case and how it could affect your future.

New York Laws Concerning Marijuana Offenses

Currently, first-time offenders who are found to be carrying less than 25 grams of marijuana on their person - slightly less than an ounce - will be issued a non-criminal violation ticket. Someone who openly displays a small amount of marijuana will be arrested on a misdemeanor charge.

Typically, the district attorney's office is more flexible with marijuana offense negotiations. Nonetheless, these facts should by no means convince you that marijuana offenses are "no big deal" or will not be treated seriously. If you were in possession of a large amount of marijuana, sold a large amount of marijuana or were near school or government property, you could still be in severe trouble. In New York, state laws clearly outline the following offenses:

  • 221.05 Unlawful possession of marijuana
  • 221.10 Criminal possession of marijuana, fifth degree
  • 221.15 Criminal possession of marijuana, fourth degree
  • 221.20 Criminal possession of marijuana, third degree
  • 221.25 Criminal possession of marijuana, second degree
  • 221.30 Criminal possession of marijuana, first degree
  • 221.35 Criminal sale of marijuana, fifth degree
  • 221.40 Criminal sale of marijuana, fourth degree
  • 221.45 Criminal sale of marijuana, third degree
  • 221.50 Criminal sale of marijuana, second degree
  • 221.55 Criminal sale of marijuana, first degree

If you want to learn more about what these offenses entail, click the links highlighted above to be taken to the official statute. Marijuana offenses are often more complicated than they might seem initially. While possession of marijuana is the least severe charge an individual can face, it can be easy to assume that you will be charged with possession when you actually distributed marijuana to a friend, and could thus face harsher charges and penalties.

Penalties for Marijuana Offenses

If you are facing any of these charges, what kinds of penalties are you looking at? In New York, you can anticipate the following penalties for these marijuana offenses:

Possession

  • Possessing 25 grams or less (first offense): civil citation, $100
  • Possessing 25 grams or less (second offense): civil citation, $200
  • Possessing 25 grams to 2 ounces: Class A misdemeanor, 3 months in prison and a $500 fine
  • Possessing 2 - 8 ounces: misdemeanor, 1 year in prison, $1,000 fine
  • Possessing 8 - 16 ounces: Class E felony, 12 to 18 months in prison, $5,000 fine
  • Possessing 16 ounces - 10 pounds: Class D felony, 1 to 2.5 years in prison, $5,000 fine
  • Possessing over 10 pounds: Class C felony, 1 to 5.5 years in prison, $5,000 fine

Cultivating

  • Cultivating 2 ounces or less (gift): Class B misdemeanor, 3 months in prison and / or$500 fine
  • Cultivating 24 grams (sale): Class A misdemeanor, 1 year in prison and / or fine, $1,000 fine
  • Cultivating 24 grams to 4 ounces: Class E felony, 1 to 4 years in prison, $5,000 fine
  • Cultivating 4 to 16 ounces: Class D felony, probation for 1 to 5 years if no prior felony, $5,000 fine
  • Cultivating 16 ounces to 10 pounds: Class C felony, 4 to 7 years in prison, $5,000 fine
  • Cultivating 10 pounds or more: Class C felony, 6 to 15 years in prison

Giving / Selling

  • Sale to a minor: Class D felony, 1 to 7 years in prison, $5,000 fine
  • Giving / selling 25 grams to 4 ounces: 12 to 18 months in prison, $5,000 fine
  • Giving / selling 4 to 16 ounces: 1 to 2.5 years in prison, $5,000 fine
  • Giving / selling over 16 ounces: 1 to 5.5 years in prison, $5,000 fine
  • Possession of a dirty water pipe or an object that has only drug related uses is a misdemeanor with a penalty up to 1 year in jail

Every scenario and every offender is different, and this background information can greatly affect the outcome of your case. If you were only charged with first-time unlawful possession of marijuana, there is a chance your case will be dismissed after it is heard in court. On the other hand, if you have a prior criminal record, your charges, and thus the penalties you face, could be increased.

At other times, a perpetrator was merely confused about the requirements of the law and not aware they were engaging in any illegal activities. New York has not legalized medical marijuana yet, so even if you have a doctor's permission from another state where it is legal, crossing state lines with the marijuana in your possession would be deemed illegal. Because every defendant is different and every case is different, you deserve a personalized approach and a personalized defense.

Contact Robert Schuster Today to Combat Your Charges

To learn more about what charges you face and the penalties that you could incur, speak with Mr. Schuster for the helpful counsel and aggressive defense you deserve. Even a minor marijuana offense can leave you with a criminal record and force you to pay hefty fines or spend time in jail.

Don't leave your future in jeopardy. If you are looking for someone with impressive credentials that you can trust, such as being a former prosecutor and having a 95 percent trial success rate, look no further. Robert Schuster is the right Westchester criminal defense attorney for you and is only a phone call or click of a mouse away. Contact The Law Offices of Robert Schuster immediately for the representation you need to combat your charges.