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Marijuana possession charges in New York: What should you know?

Given that the state of New York has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of dried marijuana, many people in the state feel like possession is no longer a crime. However, depending on the amount and kind of marijuana, you could be facing serious charges, even felony charges.

If you have been stopped by law enforcement and cited for charges due to marijuana possession, you should speak with an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. He or she may be able to help minimize the fallout of these charges and can advise you on the best way to address the situation.

Marijuana possession consequences in New York

Possession of less than 25 grams of dried marijuana flower has been decriminalized. Those caught in possession of less than 25 grams will face only a fine, the amount of which increases with the number of offenses. First time offenders will be fined $100. Second time offenders will be fined $200. Those who offend a third or more times within a three year period will be fined $250. Those caught consuming marijuana or displaying their marijuana in public view face a second charge, a misdemeanor. This carries up to 90 days of incarceration and a $250 fine.

Possession of more than 25 grams but less than eight ounces is a misdemeanor offense. Those caught with more than 25 grams but less than two ounces face up to three months in prison and a fine of $250. Those caught with between two and eight ounces will face up to a year in prison and a fine of $1,000. Those caught with more than eight ounces will face felony charges.

For those caught in possession of hash or hash oil (BHO/wax), possession of any amount, up to seven grams, is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. More than seven grams but less than an ounce can result in felony charges carrying up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Those in possession of an ounce or more face fifteen years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

New York State drug charges require legal assistance

Working with a public defender is a great way to end up taking a plea deal. That can result in jail time and a criminal record that can haunt you for life. Public defenders are overworked, underpaid, and likely inexperienced in criminal defense for drug offenders. When you're facing marijuana possession charges, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands New York's drug laws is the best way to protect you future

From seeking diversion to substance abuse programs to helping determine if your civil liberties or law enforcement best practices were violated during your arrest, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you. Your initial consultation is free. This legal advocate may be able to offer guidance that can change the outcome of your marijuana possession case.

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Suffolk County Defenders Association New York State Defenders Association | Founded 1967 New York State Bar Association Suffolk County Bar Association | NY 1908

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