What is a Controlled Substance Possession?
Criminal drug possession or “criminal possession” is a charge in New York with specific attributes that must be proven in order for the charges to be upheld in a court of law. To be in criminal possession of a drug or item you must have both control and intent. What this means is that not only must an individual be in control of the substance (ie, in possession of drugs), but also must have the intent to possess that substance—in other words, he or she must be cognizant and aware of the fact that they are in possession of a controlled substance or were actively seeking to acquire it. The latter half of this definition can become very important in creating a criminal defense. Many NY drug defense attorneys will attempt to make the argument for individuals who have been charged with criminal drug possession that he or she was unaware that their property (car, house, or person) contained or had possession of drugs. If they are successful then their client may be cleared of NYC criminal possession charges.
What are the Penalties?
The penalties for drug possession imposed by New York courts are dependent upon many things: the amount found in your possession, the type of drug you were in possession of, if there was also drug paraphernalia found, what jurisdiction the arrest occurred in, or whether or not it was a first offense.
Criminal Possession of Marijuana or Criminal Possession of Heroin in NYC: The Substance Matters!
It probably goes without saying that amount being possessed and the specific substance that you were found in possession of are the critical elements of your case, especially here in New York. Marijuana is treated differently than cocaine or heroin, for example, all things being equal. Meaning that were you to be in criminal possession of a usable amount of heroin and someone else where to have a usable amount of marijuana the courts would apply a stricter charge and/or sentence to your offense. That said, regardless of the general opinion of the harmfulness of marijuana (as opposed to heroin, cocaine, or oxycodone) were you be in possession of enough quantity as to appear able to distribute that amount to others you will find the court unwilling to look past its mild nature.
Understanding the specific nuances of the codes involving criminal possession is of particular importance to your case and why you should hire a top ranked Manhattan drug attorney (as opposed to self-representation).
Prior NY Convictions Make All the Difference
Whether or not you have a criminal history, if there have been priors for drug possession in your past these things also play into the mood and disposition of the courts that will be reviewing your case. NYC Criminal possession of drugs has a very different disposition the second, third, or, God forbid, fourth time a particular court has seen you walk through their doors. The first offense for criminal possession of marijuana is very different than the second offense. The courts are much more inclined to dispense with ACDs, conditional sentencing, and/or give probation as they are taking the chance that you might realize that your actions can result in legal consequences and get into a program or seek treatment. By the second time you appear in court the judge is less disposed to provide you with another chance at a non-custodial disposition. If you should be caught with a highly controlled drug like heroin, oxycodone, or cocaine for second criminal possession charge you may find the mercy of the court is all used up.
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Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
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The Importance of Jurisdiction: Federal or New York State?
Navigating the criminal possession arena can be tricky especially when you consider that court officers are elected and appointed for different reasons, each faces a different set of constituents to appeal to. Despite the fact that all of the Burroughs work off of the same penal code the charging and sentencing can be radically different from one region to the next. Each county has a different legal culture, different values, in a sense. Some jurisdictions and courts do view certain drug crimes, simple possession for example, as more of a medical issue and societal concern as opposed to criminal activity. Other courts are not so lenient and will attempt to procure jail time even on a first offense. It is very important to procure an attorney who has a thorough understanding of the jurisdiction and courts that will be handling your charges.
New York Criminal Attorneys at Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC Can Defend Your Criminal Possession
The NYC Criminal Lawyers from Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC have extensive experience dealing with criminal possession cases. Criminal possession is a felony offense that will stay on your record for the rest of your life, closing doors that would have otherwise remained open. New York’s crackdown on drug crimes have made this a serious offense in New York that can lead to a lengthy jail time and/or fines. Your criminal possession case can be quite tricky if you were found in possession of a substance such as oxycodone or heroin. Don’t leave your future up to chance. You need the assistance of one of our seasoned New York defense attorneys.
Bukh law firm’s track record in state and federal courts is unparalleled in success rates. Call us today for a free consultation. (212) 729-1632