Facing drug charges is nothing short of a traumatic experience. Although many states have relaxed marijuana laws, New York still has strict punishments for possession convictions. If you face drug charges, then one of your first calls should be to a criminal attorney.
To schedule a consultation with a criminal lawyer in New York City, contact Goldberg & Allen, LLP today at 212-766-3366. Your first appointment is free. Our attorneys can evaluate your charges, explain your options and structure an aggressive defense.
All Drug Cases Are Unique
Most people do not know the penalties for marijuana possession until they face charges. If police have arrested you for possession, then the following details may have a major impact on your case:
- Possessing More Than 25 Grams to 2 Ounces of Marijuana Is a Misdemeanor
According to Norml, the amount you possess will affect the possible penalties of a conviction. A conviction for possessing more than 25 grams to 2 ounces of marijuana could result in a $500 penalty and three months’ incarceration.
- More Than 8 Ounces Is a Felony
Any amount of marijuana that is greater than 8 ounces comes with more serious penalties – especially if there is evidence of intent to sell or distribute. Even if there was no intent to sell or distribute, this is a felony charge that comes with up to $5,000 in fines and four years in prison.
- The State Must Prove You Willingly Violated the Law
The good news for those who face drug charges is that simply having the substance on you is not enough to convict you. The state must establish that you not only knew you had marijuana on your person but also that you were willingly carrying it.
This is a very critical aspect of all marijuana possession cases. In many situations, penalties can be reduced or charges thrown out entirely if it is shown that you were not aware of the substance’s presence, or that it was someone else’s property. The latter is often the case when the drug belonged to a friend, family member or roommate.
- If Police Do Not Follow Protocol, Then Certain Evidence May Be Inadmissible in Court
Once again, simply having marijuana in your possession is not a guaranteed conviction. In any possession case where the police seized illicit substances, it must be shown that law enforcement had reasonable suspicion to search you and that they searched you legally within your rights.
In cases when this is called into question, every detail matters. Sometimes, witness testimonies can demonstrate that the officer did not have probable cause to conduct the search, and the evidence may be inadmissible.
This is why it is so important to be as clear as possible on every aspect of the story during your consultation with an attorney. There are several potential defenses to these charges, and a positive outcome may hinge on minor details.
If you are facing charges related to marijuana possession and would like to speak with a New York City criminal lawyer, contact Goldberg & Allen, LLP today at 212-766-3366. Your first consultation is free.