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Drug Possession

Drug possession crimes are dealt with under criminal law and consist of having one or more illegal drugs in one’s possession.

Drug possession falls into two categories: possession for Personal Use and Possession with the Intent to Sell/Distribute.

  • Drug possession charges with the intent to sell/distribute involve cases where an individual is proven to have acquired drugs to use, sell, or distribute to others.
  • On the other hand, possession for personal use applies in cases where illegal drugs are found, but there is no evidence to prove any intent to sell or distribute to others.

Under the NY Penal Code, there are seven degrees of drug possession charges, often depending on the substance, the amount, the severity of the situation, and the intent of the person who possesses the drugs.

  • 7th Degree Possession: The possession of a controlled substance and in a small amount, most likely for personal use.
  • 5th Degree Possession: The possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell. This charge also applies to specific amounts of certain substances, like at least 500 mg of cocaine.
  • 4th Degree Possession: The possession of preparations containing a narcotic drug with a weight of ⅛ oz or more. The possession of preparations containing concentrated cannabis with a weight of 1oz or more.
  • 3rd Degree Possession: The possession of a narcotic with the intent to sell. This charge also applies to specific amounts of certain substances, like at least 1 gram of stimulants.
  • 2nd Degree Possession: The possession of preparations containing a narcotic drug with a weight of four oz or more. This charge also applies to specific amounts of certain substances, like at least 10 grams of stimulants.
  • 1st Degree Possession: The possession of at least 8 oz preparations containing a narcotic drug or 5,760 mg of methadone.
  • The presence of a controlled substance in an automobile also qualifies as presumptive evidence of a knowingly being in criminal possession of the drug.

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